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AAP Participates in 2017 World Food Prize

Published: Monday, 27 Nov 2017
Author: Rachel Warner
Department: Office of the Dean

At the 2017 World Food Prize, the Alliance for African Partnership hosted a side event focused on exploring the evolving landscape and the challenges and opportunities being created for innovative and effective new partnerships between U.S. and African institutions engaged in African agri-food systems. The session, titled "Changing Environment for Effective Partnerships between African and International Organizations in Support of Agricultural Transformation" reflected the growing need for African-led initiatives and recognized that old partnership models are increasingly out of tune with 2017 realities. The session was attended by development partners, African scholars in the diaspora, graduate students and global specialists with interest in Africa.

AAP Co-director Thom Jayne began the event by briefly laying out five key megatrends affecting the trajectories of agricultural transformation in Africa, demonstrating how African governments and international partners will need to anticipate and proactively respond to these trends. He also highlighted the implications for effective partnerships between African and international organizations. The keynote speaker was Hon. Dora Siliya, the Minister of Agriculture from the Government of the Republic of Zambia, who laid out the vision and strategy for agricultural transformation in the region, taking account of the megatrends. Siliya pointed out the need for strengthening African think tanks in support of national and regional planning processes. Four distinguished African leaders—Emmanuel Nndozie, Chiji Okwuju, Titus Awokuse and Linley Chiwona-Karltun—then highlighted the fundamental elements of constructive partnerships in agricultural development: what is working well, what isn't and why.

One of the outcomes of the discussions was on the need for Africa in tapping on the expertize of Africans in the diaspora—especially in the U.S.—in support of  African leader's commitments to the transformation of their communities and people's lives. Given the growth of  South–South partnerships, there was overwhelming agreement that Africa should consider tapping in particular on both the technological and expertise from such countries as China and India. Institutions from the North could very well serve as brokers of such new partnerships.

Richard Mkandawire, director for the AAP's Africa Secretariat,  participated on follow up to the Abuja 2006 Fertilizer Summit. One of the outcomes of this panel was a call for a follow-up  summit  to access  progress achieved since the 2006 fertilizer summit. Given the wealth of research that MSU has over the past decade generated on fertilizer, coupled with the financial support that AAP has extended to the consortium of IFDC, AFAP, New Market Lab, and MSU on Fertilizer policy, MSU and the Alliance is well-positioned to provide the required technical backstopping for the planned summit.