Driving Agriculture-Led Economic and Social Transformation of Africa

Driving Agriculture-Led Economic and Social Transformation of Africa 2016-11-24T12:52:45+00:00

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Moderator: Prof Frans Swanepoel, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Panellist: Dr Lindiwe Sibanda, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, Zimbabwe
Panellist: Dr Marcel Mballa-Ekobena, Farmer and Entrepreneur, Kenya/Cameroon
Panellist: Dr Aldo Stroebel, National Research Foundation / Cornell University, South Africa
Panellist: Dr Yvette Ampaire, African Women Initiative on Climate Change, Uganda
Panellist: Dr Moses Osiru, Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture, Uganda
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Science can and should drive transformation of agriculture and society in Africa. African solidarity for Science is the most significant strategy in achieving this vision. Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) – research, extension, educational and training services – are poorly integrated, and in-effectively reach farmers and entrepreneurs. Women continue to be under-represented and -served, and their contributions remain mostly unexploited, further exacerbating the poorly integrated AISs. Agriculture and the food sector present a significant opportunity for employment and wealth creation, where women make up half of the agricultural labour force. This critical role of agriculture in fostering sustained competitiveness and profitability in the face of a world economy that is rapidly transforming into a knowledge and network economy is widely acknowledged. Undoubtedly, agriculture and capacity strengthening are back on the development agenda as Africa aligns with the SDGs. A science-driven transformation of agriculture as the economic driver can be used to create continental opportunities, driving inclusive growth, reduce poverty and build wealth. Deliberations will agree on an action agenda for science driving transformation of agriculture and society; evidence-based research and analysis for policy; and high-level human capital (with a focus on women) to enhance Africa’s competitiveness in the global knowledge economy.
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swanepoelProf Frans Swanepoel
University of Pretoria, South Africa
Moderator

Frans Swanepoel is Professor: Future Africa at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria, South Africa; and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for African Development (IAD) at Cornell University, USA. He was the former DVC Research and Innovation at the University of the Western Cape. He is an accomplished scientific leader in South Africa and internationally, confirmed by his election during 2010 as a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), election in in 2016 as a Foreign Fellow of the Ugandan Academy of Science, and his appointment as Senior Fulbright Fellow at Cornell University, during 2008/2009. He serves on the Boards of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) of South Africa, and the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) initiative, based in Nairobi. He was the lead consultant to develop a continental framework for agricultural education and skills development, under NEPAD. He currently chairs an ASSAf Consensus Panel to revitalise agricultural education and training in South Africa. His fields of specialization include African smallholder agriculture, research and innovation management, agricultural education and training, internationalization of higher education, and capacity development.
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sibandaDr Lindiwe Sibanda
Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, Zimbabwe
Panellist

Lindiwe Majele Sibanda is the Chief Executive Officer and Head of Mission for the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), coordinating policy research and advocacy programs aimed at making Africa a food and nutrition secure region. She is a trained animal scientist, an authoritative leader in agriculture, climate change and nutrition with over 25 years of trans-disciplinary experience. She has served as a trustee and adviser to the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centres in various capacities as Board Chair for the livestock centre (ILRI) and trustee for maize and wheat (CIMMYT), and advisor to programmes on water, land and ecosystems (WLE); climate change, agriculture and food systems (CCAFS); policy, markets and institutions (PIM). Sibanda currently serves as a commissioner for the EAT-Lancet Commission soon to produce a report on Sustainable Healthy Food Systems by 2018 and member of the United Nations Committee for Policy Development (UN-CDP). She is currently leading a multi-country research and technical assistance project on Agriculture to Nutrition (ATONU): Improving Nutrition Outcomes through Optimized Agricultural Investments. She holds a BSc Degree (University of Alexandria, Egypt), MSc and PhD from the University of Reading, UK.
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ekobenaDr Marcel Mballa-Ekobena
Farmer and Entrepreneur, Kenya / Cameroon
Panellist

Marcel Mballa-Ekobena is a business entrepreneur and farmer, and the former Executive Head of Investment Products, East Africa at the Standard Bank Group. He has held senior and executive positions at the International Finance Corporation and JP Morgan, and is the former Vice-President: Financial Analysis at HSBC. He holds an MSc from the University of Reading, UK in International Securities Investment and Banking.
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stroebelDr Aldo Stroebel
National Research Foundation / Cornell University, South Africa
Panellist

Dr Aldo Stroebel is Executive Director International Relations and Cooperation at the National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa, and Visiting Fellow at the Institute for African Development at Cornell University, USA. He serves as immediate past President of the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), as South Africa’s National Contact Point for the ERC to H2020, on the boards of the Water Research Commission (WRC) and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) (Strategy Committee), and is a former member of the Research and Innovation Strategy Group (RISG) of Universities South Africa (USAf). He is a Founding Member of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS). Education credentials: University of Pretoria (BSc- and Hons-degrees); University of Ghent, Belgium (Masters in International Agricultural Development); University of the Free State and Cornell University, USA (PhD); Postdoctoral research at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He has published widely in smallholder farming systems, and has been acknowledged as a leader in internationalisation of Higher Education, and research and innovation management.
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ampaireDr Yvette Ampaire
African Women Initiative on Climate Change, Uganda
Panellist

Yvette Amaire is the Founder and Director of the Women in Climate Change and Development (WCCD) initiative, based in Kampala, Uganda. WCCD is a strategic initiative of women spearheading climate change adaptation and mitigation, and advocating movements towards of climate change adaptation at local, national and international levels. She is the former Coordinator of Energy Crossroads East Africa, mainly comprised of university students all over East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda) doing research and extending knowledge to communities. Her expertise is in mobilization, sensitization, capacity building/training, campaigning and advocating on issues of climate change, entrepreneurship, food security and sustainable agriculture in rural and urban communities. She is a Fellow of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) programme.
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osiruDr Moses Osiru
Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture, Uganda
Panellist

Dr Moses Osiru is RUFORUM’s Deputy Executive Secretary. He holds a PhD in Agriculture (Plant Pathology) and MSc (Plant Breeding/ Pathology) from Makerere University. Dr. Osiru has over 15 years’ experience in the agricultural and higher education sectors, including close to ten years within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). As Regional Pathologist with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), he supported smallholder farmers to improve groundnut production and marketing, including through mitigating aflatoxin contamination in groundnut in Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Ghana (based in Bamako, Mali) and in Eastern and Southern Africa (based in Lilongwe, Malawi). During his time with the Ministry of Agriculture (PMA Secretariat, NARS Secretariat) in Uganda, Dr Osiru participated in the review and reform of agricultural research in Uganda that led to the new agricultural research policy in 2004. Dr Osiru currently serves on various Boards and Steering Committees including the African Crop Science Society; the International Network for Higher Education in Africa (INHEA), the Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations (GCHERA), the Swedish Agriculture for Food Security 2030 Initiative (AgriFose) and the Acacia International School.
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