Strengthening the role of African researchers in the Europe-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on FNSSA | brief report

Over 200 participants joined the LEAP4FNSSA discussion “How to strengthen the role and participation of African researchers in the Europe-Africa Research & Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)”, a side-event organized during the 16th Annual General Meeting of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).
Through the LEAP4FNSSA Project, a platform that brings together African and European researchers and other actors in the Food, Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) will be established. This requires – amongst others – equitable participation of research institutions from both continents. The purpose of this side-event was to gather views on how African research institutions and individuals can effectively participate and benefit from this platform.

After the welcoming remarks [.pptx | 2,4 MB], Ms. Nienke Buisman (Head of Unit International Cooperation of the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation) explained the background to the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership in Food, Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) and highlighted its importance to the European research and policy community.

This was followed by a presentation [.pdf | 813 KB] by Dr Irene Annor-Frempong (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, FARA) on the importance of this AU-EU Research and Innovation Partnership to the African research community.

Dr. Philippe Petithuguenin (CIRAD and the coordinator of LEAP4FNSSA project) ended the presentation session by sharing information [.pptx | 4,6 MB] on the ‘Platform’ that is being developed by LEAP4FNSSA in order to ensure a sustainable way for an efficient and coherent implementation of the AU-EU Research and Innovation Partnership.

Many participants indicated that it was the first time they heard about the AU-EU R&I partnership, the FNSSA Roadmap and calls for proposals. They were very enthusiastic and eager to learn more about it.
The discussion, moderated by Dr Aldo Stroebel (Executive Director Strategic Partnerships at the National Research Foundation, South Africa), financing strategies of R&I, examples of African countries in which political will is supported by strong evidence based science policy nexus, how to ensure equitable participation of all stakeholder groups (researchers, government, private sector – including farmers, civil society), how multi-stakeholder engagement can ensure inclusiveness in research impact, how to make sure that the R&I agendas are aligned to African frameworks and policies, and how to guarantee effective coordination in Africa as the need for convergence was accepted.

A summary of the conclusions of the webinar can be accessed here [.pptx | 285 KB].
Participants who are interested to stay involved in the discussions were advised to contact African network organisations such as RUFORUM and FARA, that are participating the LEAP4FNSSA project, and to register for the LEAP4FNSSA newsletter or join the Agora LEAP4FNSSA.

More information on the proposed Platform is expected at the beginning of 2021.

Here is the recorded video of the event | via RUFORUM YouTube channel.