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Magazine December 2013 | Issue 2

In this Issue Working together - lessons learned How to ace Horizon 2020 Fighting food insecurity

CAAST-Net Plus

Building Bi-regional Partnerships for Global Challenges

Where we’re from CAAST-Net Plus is a network of 25 partner organisiations from all over Europe and subSaharan Africa, working together to support cooperation in research and innovation throughout these two regions.

ACU United Kingdom

MRS Senegal


NOTAP Nigeria



RCN Norway

FCT Portugal

DST South Africa

COHRED Switzerland *

RA South Africa

CTA Netherlands *



UNCST Uganda

DR-MENRS Madagascar


CIRAD France

IRD France

NCST Malawi

MESCI Cape Verde

AAU Ghana *

DLR Germany

ZSI Austria


DTU Denmark

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Magazine December 2013 | Issue 2

* International organisations

Coordinators’ Column

CAAST-Net Plus on partnership A message from the Project Coordinators Partnerships are at the heart of the development of scientific and technological knowledge and innovation for Africa and Europe. While the views on just what features constitute an effective partnership are diverse, some opinions come up time and again: equitability, strong leadership, appropriate composition with clearly defined partner roles, full and transparent communication, positive interpersonal relations, and long-term sustainability. How a partnership is coordinated, managed and governed plays an important role in its effectiveness, irrespective of who takes the leadership. Democratic decisionmaking, for instance, is a core principal of co-ownership. Although leadership of cooperation projects has not always been evenly balanced, there is a very welcome and positive trend among funding partners of redressing this through the appointment of principal investigators and coordinators from Africa. Appropriate composition too, is seen as a critical success factor. Inappropriate partnership composition can create inefficiencies, waste resources and may even lead to project failure. Going hand-inhand with composition is the clear definition of partners’ roles and responsibilities. Communication among partners, and the choice of communication channels, is

another core feature of successful partnerships, as the collaboration story in this issue relates. Although the expansion in digital communication has been very helpful it can only complement — and not completely substitute — physical meetings among project partners. Immense value is placed on face-to-face meetings for their ability to foster the interpersonal relations and mutual trust that supports partnerships. One of the pivotal aspects that may ultimately determine whether partnerships bear fruit is policy dialogue, through which barriers to cooperation, good practice, priority areas for joint funding activities, as well as potential funding instruments can be identified. As the successor to the CAAST-Net project (2008 – 2012), CAAST-Net Plus continues to help foster partnerships along these lines. It’s perhaps axiomatic, yet

Andy Cherry Project Coordinator

Eric Mwangi Africa Region Coordinator

often overlooked, that a greater attention to sustaining effective partnerships is likely to enhance the overall quality and effectiveness of cooperation. In many senses, everything we do through CAASTNet Plus is geared towards reinforcing partnerships, both at the bi-regional level and at the level of individual project partnerships between the members of a consortia of implementing partners and to steer the process further to address innovation beyond scientific research. The very recent CAAST-Net Plus meeting in Accra on climate change adaptation in agriculture, (see the box below), is a perfect illustration of our work to foster partnerships and collaboration between Africa and Europe. We look forward to organising many more such meetings in 2014.

CAAST-Net Plus event on climate change hits the mark Representatives from 14 countries, including policymakers, researchers, academics and entrepeneurs, recently came together in Ghana for an event jointly hosted by CAAST-Net Plus, the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) and the Association of African Universities (AAU) to discuss some of the challenges around biregional funding of climate change

research, in particular, the changes being brought by the European Union’s new Horizon 2020 funding programme. Both the Deputy Environment Minister, Dr Musheibu Mohammed-Alfa, and the Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Ghana, Dr Abdulai Baba Salifu, acknowledged the importance of

CAAST-Net Plus objectives and climate change-related research on the African continent, as well as the significance of the bi-regional partnership approach to solving global societal challenges. For the full report, visit the CAASTNet Plus website:

December 2013 | Issue 2

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New horizons for EDCTP As a major Europe-Africa clinical trials partnership receives renewed support on the eve of the launch of its second phase, CAAST-Net Plus’ Danny Edwards (COHRED) and Katharina Kuss (FCSAI) reflect on the future of collaborative bi-regional health research.

With partnership as its basis, the EDCTP united 14 European Union (EU) Member States, as well as Norway and Switzerland, to collaborate with counterparts in sub-Saharan Africa. As the first phase of the Sixth Framework Programme’s (FP6) flagship cooperation platform ends, stakeholders can rest assured that a second phase, slated to commence in January 2014, has received great support. African and European Member States confirmed their commitment to EDCTP2 at a High-Level Conference in Dakar, Senegal on 21 October 2013. As well as most of the countries taking part in the current programme committing to the second phase, new countries such as Finland, South Africa and Tanzania expressed interest in becoming members. The ten African countries most involved in EDCTP projects in the first phase were: South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Gabon, The Gambia, Mozambique and Ghana. Professor Charles Mgone, Executive

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Director of EDCTP and member of the External Advisory Committee to CAAST-Net Plus says although the platform can celebrate great successes, much work still remains: “By the end of 2012 EDCTP1 funded 241 projects as a result of 64 calls for proposals, involving 185 African and 70 European research institutions,” Mgone said. “However, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria still kill an estimated 4.2 million people annually, most of them from sub-Saharan Africa. We need to invest more efficiently in the research and development of new or improved medical interventions against poverty-related diseases.”

We at EDCTP also value the presence of other Africa-EU collaborative platforms in the health research and innovation field such as CAAST-Net Plus...

As one of the key CAAST-Net Plus stakeholders, the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) has been a major role-player, not only in the field of health research but also in the Africa-EU collaboration landscape more broadly.

The maximum contribution to the EDCTP2 Programme under Horizon 2020 will be EUR 683 million, and at least the same amount is expected to be contributed by European Participant Countries. Further funding still is expected to

Katharina Kuss (FCSAI)

Danny Edwards (COHRED)

be obtained through contributions from African governments and through partnerships with private and public donors. Mgone added, “We at EDCTP also value the presence of other AfricaEU collaborative platforms in the health research and innovation field such as CAAST-Net Plus, which can only serve to further strengthen the growing science and technology collaboration between our regions.” EDCTP2 will consequently continue supporting partnerships between European and sub-Saharan African countries in conducting clinical trials on new or improved medical interventions. The programme also aims at capacity building through an increase in the number of subSaharan African researchers and MSc and PhD students supported to at least 600. CAAST-Net Plus will seek to engage with EDCTP in 2014, learning more about the challenges the programme faces in research and innovation cooperation and how we can best support and facilitate the initiative. CAAST-Net Plus partners and stakeholders are encouraged to promote EDCTP2 among their health research communities and enhance bi-regional partnerships on the global challenge of infectious and neglected diseases. For further information on EDCTP2 please visit the website: EDCTP2.799.0.html

Climate Change

Climate change research: Challenges and priorities James Haselip is a researcher at the UNEP Risø Centre’s Cleaner Energy Development group in Denmark. In addition to being a CAAST-Net Plus partner, he is URC manager for the African Climate portal, an FP7 project that promotes the uptake of climate change research in policy-making in Africa. 1. Climate change research and policy debates no longer view the issue in isolation, with a shift towards acknowledging linkages with food security and water resource management. What challenges has the resulting complexity presented for CC research? The impacts of climate change have always been viewed as complex, however in recent years there has been an increase in studies that explicitly address the impacts on food and water security. To some extent this reflects a shift in research funding priorities, which is increasingly focused on adaptation, especially for the least developed counties and in Africa in particular, where water and food security are the top priorities. I think the main practical challenge for scientific research in this area is in distilling the analytical insights of researchers into simple terms that have clear messages for society, businesses and politicians. In concrete terms, I think more could be done to scope research projects that will result in actionable knowledge, with scientists working in partnership with businesses and policymakers to help ‘problematise’ the research agenda. 2. What, in your opinion, are the key joint horizontal research priorities for climate change in the context of the upcoming H2020 research programme? There were a number of horizontal research priorities highlighted at the CAAST-Net Plus workshop in Addis Ababa in June 2013, which were the result of a lively debate among African and European researchers and policymakers. Of these, I think one of the clearest needs concerns

support for scaling up research into, and the dissemination of, indigenous knowledge and technologies on climate resilient crops and agricultural adaptation practices. There is also an ever-greater need to address the longstanding gap in disaggregated climate data to help inform national and subnational planning and infrastructure spending, as well as for local farming. Another horizontal priority that H2020 could address is the need for research funding mechanisms that respond to the technical needs of SMEs, i.e. research projects that tackle real-world technical problems faced by entrepreneurs that have limited capacities to invest in R&D. 3. Explain the concept behind ‘bottom-up green growth’ and what is needed to drive it? Africa and Europe have, through the UN system, embraced the ‘green economy’ concept as presented at the Rio+20 conference and ‘bottomup green growth’ is broadly referred to as economic growth that ensures poverty eradication without overexploitation of natural resources, utilising local (bottom-up) capital to invest in sustainable production and consumption. However ‘green growth’ is a slippery concept, driven as it is by political rhetoric that is long on vision, short on detail. So it’s the job of researchers to help flesh out this concept, including the need to gather and formulate country-specific knowledge that could enable countries to clarify and implement the concept of a green economy. 4. How can climate change research translate into meaningful innovations for both regions? What is the role for CAAST-Net Plus in this process?

James Haselip (DTU)

This is an important and challenging question. The knowledge produced by Africa-EU research collaborations can help stimulate creativity and inform investment decisions that could, ultimately, have positive development outcomes. For example, research could identify the financial support options for rural SMEs that seek to develop products and services that either mitigate or adapt to climate change in the agricultural sector. Support could also be given for research into the potential of developing low-cost means to utilising ground water resources and small-scale dams, as a means to irrigate, mitigating the risks surrounding rain-fed agriculture. Important innovations could also be facilitated and scaled up through support for knowledge on agroecology and ecological intensification as a means to increase agricultural yields and to adapt to climate change, moving away from a dependence on non-renewable fertilizers. However the exact mechanisms by which this can and will occur are not often clear, and so many observers argue that the research agenda itself should be set in collaboration with the intended ‘end users’. This is where CAAST-Net Plus comes in. Part of our work is to survey the collaboration landscape, and to identify where strategic relationships can be built between research institutions, business and governments in Africa and Europe. We’re also working to identify the key mechanisms of change in the relationship between research findings and innovation and policy making, i.e. to understand how, exactly, research can and does contribute to desired change so that these processes can be replicated and scaled-up in other countries.

December 2013 | Issue 2

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Collaboration Stories

Research partners share valuable lessons CAAST-Net Plus believes bi-regional research and innovation cooperation is key to tackling global health problems, food insecurity and climate change. But these international relationships, which must bridge vast distances and cultural boundaries, do not come without their challenges. Two researchers share lessons learnt during a four-year health project with CAAST-Net Plus.

Great strides have been made in the development of communication technologies, transforming international relationships in business and academia. However, the practical benefits and timesaving qualities of electronic correspondence can come at a cost.

“I think collaboration made us aware that if you really want to be a global scholar, and not just a global scholar but– an effective global researcher – you must be willing to accommodate; you must be ready to be fluid; you can’t be rigid and you must also be patient.”

South African health researcher Dr Gubela Mji, who recently wrapped up a collaborative Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) project to study access to healthcare, suggests that the convenience of technology such as email and Skype can lead to us underestimating the value of physical interaction, which plays an important part in fostering relationships and in turn affect the results and the project outcomes themselves.

Mji adds that the Irish coordinators’ approach, which valued face-toface interaction from the onset, was vital to the relationship. From a pivotal kick-off meeting in Dublin to identify key themes and appropriate research tools, to regular subsequent gatherings – she says these interactions became the lifeblood of the project.

Based at the University of Stellenbosch’s Centre of Rehabilitation Studies, Dr Mji worked on the EquitAble project (2009 – 2013) alongside researchers from Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Namibia, Sudan and Malawi. The project set out to find ways to promote greater access to healthcare for people with disabilities and other marginalised groups in the four African countries. With more than 10 years of experience with the institution and several collaborative projects with researchers in Dublin, Norway and Namibia under her belt, Mji is clear on the value of collaboration, which she says was key to EquitAble’s success.

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Magazine December 2013 | Issue 2

“I think the importance of human interaction was critical, because I think when we were away from each other we tended to sometimes interpret things in whatever way… but immediately when we came together things would gel together again and we would have a far better clarity…” she says. She adds that electronic communication can be “quite problematic”, due to miscommunication which may arise from emails and video calls. “I think sometimes we undervalue the human connection,” she says. Although she thinks the study would have been possible without international collaboration, she believes it drew its strength directly

Dr Gubela Mji University of Stellenbosch

Prof Mac MacLachlan Trinity College Dublin

from the diverse backgrounds of the partners and the direct contact with one another.

MUTUAL BENEFITS Stellenbosch University was approached by the Principal Investigator at Trinity College Dublin, Prof Mac MacLachlan, who saw the mutual benefits for both regions from the beginning. Having lived in Malawi and with the experience of working in Africa for 20 years on various projects, MacLachlan witnessed the obstacles faced by people with disabilities trying to access healthcare. However, from the outset he was well aware the project was by no means exclusively about extending a helping hand to Africans, but about mutual benefit for both regions. “One of the things you learn if you’ve lived in Africa is that the problems are of the same type [as elsewhere], but the extent of problems might be different,” he says, adding that the consequences of not accessing healthcare are somewhat different. MacLachlan also saw a chance to learn from working within a complicated policy landscape. Mji adds that those who do not have an egalitarian approach may miss out on reaping maximum rewards in both regions. “My sense is that when… we do

Collaboration Stories

At a deeper level we were advocates for equity and human rights and it really made our work quite easy, and we all respected more or less the same things.

TRUST The luxury of entering into a pre-existing network of trust before EquitAble even began was crucial, Mji says. Not only did the two institutions have a history of collaboration, but MacLachlan brought to the party existing relationships with other researchers in Malawi and elsewhere. Mji says apart from the fact that she may not have found the research partners herself, relying on existing networks presents a much smaller risk than looking for partners on the internet.

– Gubela Mji •

Use your existing contacts They will lead you to good people. Using Google to search for partners can be risky.

Don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face interaction Even if you make first contact via the Internet, physical meetings are crucial. Interaction via email can lead to poor communication.

Skype and telephoning are great, but they are no substitute to face-face-meetings! These sorts of research projects that are multicountry function on trust and you can only really generate that sense of trust by physically spending time with people and working out each other’s strengths.

The confidence Mji and MacLachlan drew from pre-existing relationships was key, and gave them the reassurance needed to make the necessary investments to facilitate physical meetings between researchers. “One of my rules of thumb is that I really don’t like collaborating with people unless I’ve met them,” MacLachlan says. He points out that with one year spent putting a proposal together, the project running for four, and three years publishing results, (a total of eight years of working with people), it is imperative that you get along.

Make sure you’re on the same page Collaborate with people who have the same philosophy and understanding of things.

– Mac MacLachlan •

MacLachlan says European partners who underestimate the resources and expertise that are available in Africa risk starting a relationship from the wrong foot and adds, “Partnership should embrace equality.”


research in Africa we always have those lenses that these are the needy people so we do things for them; not also thinking that you can learn lessons even from the poorest of the poor.”

Have a plan! You must have a plan and each stakeholder must know exactly what he or she is going to do. Avoid dead wood — it is not fair on the person or the project.

Budget for fluctuating exchange rates Prepare by ensuring there is wiggle room in your budget for exchange rate fluctuations, which can be the cause of immense stress. You can also consider using financial advisers in your institution to give projections that will help you plan ahead.

Time Remember it takes time to develop an understanding of where your partners are coming from.

• Gaps Geographical and funding gaps are a given. •

Money If you are relying on funding from a European Union instrument, such as the Framework Programme, be sure to understand the reporting and disbursement timeframes.

The EquitAble project has developed a new policy analysis framework — EquiFrame (http://global-health. May19_2011.pdf) — which will be used to guide all future policy revision and development in Sudan, and was the guiding framework for the development of Malawi’s first National Health Policy. There are currently plans to use EquiFrame in other countries and it has already been used to evaluate the health-related donor policies of the Governmental aid agencies in Ireland, UK and Norway. More than 10 papers have now being published using EquiFrame; ethnographic work is currently being published and the consortium is about to embark on analysis of its unique quantitative dataset of over 32,000 people across 17 sites in Africa. Further details of the project can be found at:

December 2013 | Issue 2

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Horizon 2020

H2020 laid bare: Experts give advice for EU-Africa collaboration In re-branding its latest framework programme, the European Commission has proved it is serious about creating a less bureaucratic research and innovation funding mechanism. But that is not the only thing setting Horizon 2020 apart from its predecessors. Two experts explain the key points differentiating it from the Seventh Framework Programme and what this means for researchers in Europe and Africa.

Stéphane Hogan, EU Science Counsellor to the African Union, says the EC has made great strides since the Seventh Framework Programme in cutting red tape, simplifying rules for participation and streamlining “over-burdensome” reporting. He says the result is a more “singular set of rules” which can be implemented across different funding streams and different types of institutions, as well as a clear interpretation of these rules, which he believes will “go a long way in really simplifying everybody’s lives — both that of the researchers (which is the first concern) but even of the administration that is monitoring them.” Another key development is the focus on innovation as well as research, to encourage more involvement from the industry.

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Hogan says, “There is definitely more of an emphasis on innovation and also exploring new mechanisms to fund this type of research, to help small-medium sized companies get the funding they need, to also help research institutions to scale up, to demonstrate the effectiveness of their innovations.”

When it’s quite clear for everyone what we want from this, that will allow us to move forward and construct partnerships which last - Daan du Toit

With a strong emphasis on simplified access, a more focused approach to innovation and a structure centred around societal challenges, the European Commission has made its priorities clear: Horizon 2020 is testament to its commitment to a funding programme which is less about bureaucracy and more about targeting the major global problems of our time.

EU INTERESTS While most changes will come as good news for researchers in both Africa and Europe, with H2020 the EC has also specified another key goal - to better protect European Union interests. This may leave African researchers feeling discouraged, but according to South African Science & Technology Department’s Senior Representative

Daan du Toit

Stéphane Hogan

to the EU, Daan du Toit, this would be a great mistake. Du Toit urges African researchers not to be deterred by the changes in the philosophy and to remain proactive, since H2020 is “an ideal instrument” to help research and innovation on the continent to “internationalise”. “We all know that science knows no boundaries. Science really progresses when it’s done through partnerships and the framework programme is an instrument, which enables Africa to tap into that bigger global pool of scientific expertise.” Hogan drives home the fact that African participation is welcomed, adding that Horizon 2020 remains the “most open funding programme in the world”. He also says Europe is more aware than ever that it cannot tackle global challenges on its own. The proof of this mindset lies in a series of special H2020 workshops held across the continent in the runup to the 11 December publication of first calls. Du Toit adds, “It is true that the programme emphasizes – and we would say rightfully so because it is a European programme after all funded by European taxpayers’ money — the programme’s

Horizon 2020

contribution to Europe’s own objectives… But I would see that just as a call for Africa to be very clear on understanding and interrogating the reasons why it’s important for Africa to participate. “When it’s quite clear for everyone what we want from this, that will allow us to move forward and construct partnerships which last.” Hogan goes further and says there has been an “increasing openness to international collaboration” which has arisen out of a real need.

Try to inform yourself as soon as possible of the opportunities, look at them carefully and find the right partners for yourself

- Stéphane Hogan

“We Europeans need to collaborate with the world just as Africans and others need to collaborate with others. So I think we’ve seen in FP7, the programme which is now ending, a significant increase in international collaboration as compared to the past and Africa has done very well as a region.” “We have over 1300 participations from African organisations in some 565 projects to date — probably a few more before the programme ends. This has really enriched

the degree of collaboration to our mutual benefit…”

in research to show that socioeconomic return.”

“so that at the same time as we have all these various information and launch events in Europe, we also have a number of information and launch events in Africa so people are at the same time ready to take advantage of this new opportunity for collaboration between Europe and Africa”.

This framework programme is not a panacea, Du Toit warns: “It’s not cooperation at any cost, but in areas where it makes strategic sense.”

TIPS For researchers to stand the best chance of being successful in receiving funding, Du Toit says they must familiarize themselves with the changes to the rules and overall philosophy of H2020. He explains that the greater emphasis on specific priority areas relating to the major societal challenges is an encouraging development for African partners hoping to benefit — not only because these priorities are often the same ones faced by Africa, but also because it becomes easier to identify where to focus one’s efforts. Du Toit says the programme’s clear directive to show the impact of projects in terms of socioeconomic benefit, whether in terms of sustainable development or employment creation, is also good news for the continent: “From a policy level it means that the rationale for participation is also much closer to the one African researchers are faced with in a national context, where there is a similar demand for investment

Du Toit’s says it is therefore important for African researchers to be clear on their motivation for participation, then market themselves as desirable partners and make the required institutional investment. The most crucial piece of advice, however, is to have as early an insight as possible into what will be in the call for proposals, preferably before the official publication. “It’s like an exam,” he explains. “You are put in an exam and then you can only give the right answer if you know the question.” The second point is grasping that the framework programme is all about partnership. “You cannot do this on your own — there are rules of how many partners you need and from where they should be. And to maximize your chances of success you need to work with the very best partners.” Hogan concurs that arming yourself with knowledge and finding suitable partners are crucial factors for success. “Try to inform yourself as soon as possible of the opportunities, look at them carefully and find the right partners for yourself,” he says.

December 2013 | Issue 2

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Food Security

Fighting food insecurity Major global challenges such as climate change and poverty highlight the need for effective global research and innovation cooperation. CAAST-Net Plus has identified eight factors that are vital to the impact of EU-Africa research and innovation projects in tackling food insecurity in both regions.

An estimated 852 million people in developing countries, or 14.9 percent of the population, suffered from undernourishment in the period 2010-2012. The number of hungry grew from 175 million to 239 million in Africa over the period. In sub-Saharan Africa, the modest progress achieved in recent years up to 2007 was reversed, with hunger rising 2 percent per year since then (FAO; WFP and IFAD, 2012). Even though developing countries are most hit by the effects of undernourishment and food insecurity, developed countries must also ensure that adequate instruments are in place to ensure appropriate levels of food security and health for their citizens. Food and nutritional security are fundamental challenges to human

welfare and economic growth (Benson, 2004). The challenges needed to address food security are multifaceted and interlinked. Economic interdependence between regions, cultural barriers and globalization add to the complexity of these challenges. Ensuring food security requires specific attention to both short– and longer–term interventions (FAO; WFP and IFAD, 2012)3. Therefore, a multi-dimensional approach which includes policy harmonization, political will, and multidisciplinary research, technological and social innovation, international cooperation and collaboration, and local and national ownership, capacity building and development is needed in addressing these challenges. These are further discussed below:

Policy Harmonization Multidisciplinary Research

Technological and Social Innovation

Multi-Sectoral Cooperation and Collaboration

Political Will

Food Security Access Availability Utilization Stability Ecological Fundamental

Gender Equality and Women Empowerment

Capacity Building and Development Local and National Ownership

Impact pathway for achieving Food and Nutrition Security

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1. Policy harmonization Stakeholders in agricultural research, science and technology should be able to work together to increase the effectiveness of development cooperation and implementation of agriculture interventions through the harmonization and alignment of specific policies, procedures and activities aimed at tackling food and nutrition security. According to Abdulai, et al (2005), greater cooperation in agricultural research and development, harmonization of regulatory standards for technology adaptation and harmonization and liberalization of trade systems (policy) could play a crucial role in expanding opportunities for African farmers.

2. Political will (attitude change) The provision of safety nets to vulnerable groups (women, the rural poor), engagement of all stakeholders in decision-making processes, the need to delink political interest from basic national needs and increased investment are needed interventions. Proper governance and institutions to fairly address and drive Africa’s food and nutrition security agenda are also needed.

3. Multi-disciplinary research The 2008 international conference on ‘Food Security and Environmental Change: Linking Science, Policy and Development

Food Security

for Adaptation’ highlighted that technical fixes alone will not solve the global food security challenge. The environmental changes require an integrated research approach, not just a focus on agricultural practices (Ericksen, et al., 2009).

4. Technological and social innovation Increases in urbanization and population growth is a challenge as this contributes to the increase in food demands and places pressure on Africa’s natural resource base (land, water and energy). Technological innovation is not only composed of radical discoveries. What is relevant to African agriculture relates to the ways in which incremental improvements in processes, products, inputs or equipments are needed to adapt to the local knowledge in ways that enhance productivity and lower costs. Accordingly, the ability to adapt is a significant step in technological empowerment, which can lead to the creation of knowledge-generation capabilities. (United Nations, 2010).

5. Multi-sector cooperation and collaboration (private- public partnerships) The public sector cannot single handedly meet all the needs of infrastructure, research, agricultural inputs, and food storage and processing (Tuttle, 2012). The private sector can provide expertise and experiences that apply to reducing food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa along the following lines: • Research and extension, input, farm equipment – there is need for simple, less expensive machinery; • Infrastructure – roads, storage facilities for crop and livestock

harvests. With postharvest losses amounting to over 30% (Tuttle, 2012) investments in infrastucture can reap important gains; Food processing and marketing – New approaches to processing, packaging, and marketing food can greatly enhance retail value and export potential.

6. Capacity building and development Capacity-building policies and programmes for science and technology should ensure that they support regional and national objectives as an integral part of national and regional policy. It is necessary to mainstream science and technology policies by strengthening linkages and understanding between the scientific and policy-making communities and enhance capacities needed to articulate policy choices and options. Focusing capacitybuilding programmes and strategies towards long-term education programmes through universities and strategically selected scientific activities as well as developing a critical mass of experts at all levels through organised long-term training programmes will also build capacity. The impact of such efforts above would be measured through bibliometric data and research usage (number of citations).

7. Local and national ownership A sense of ownership, engagement and equal participation is crucial in ensuring the commitment of researchers and stakeholders in addressing food and nutrition security. Food security projects and programmes should encourage African governments to drive their food security agenda and prioritize

agriculture and nutrition policies in a more focused, sustained and longterm approach.

8. Gender equality and women empowerment Gender equality is crucial for agricultural development. To better address food insecurity in subSaharan Africa, it is important to include women in all development processes towards the achievement of food security. Giving women the same access to physical and human resources as men could increase agricultural productivity, just as increases in women’s education and improvements in women’s status contributes to more than half of the reduction rate of child malnutrition (Quisumbing & Meinzen-Dick, 2001). This is a working paper prepared by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) for the CAASTNet Plus project. The completed report will be made available at

References: Abdulai, A., Diao, X. & Johnson, M., 2005. Achieving regional growth dynamics in African agriculture. 17 ed. Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Benson, T., 2004. Assessing Africa’s Food and Nutrition Security Situation. Washingto DC: International Food Policy Research Institute. Ericksen, P. j., Ingram, J. S. & Liverman, D. M., 2009. Food security and global environmental change:emerging challenges. In: Envrironmental Science & Policy. Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 373-377. FAO; WFP and IFAD, 2012. The State of Food Insecuroty in the World 2012. Economic growth is necessary but not sufficient to accelerate reduction of hunger and malnutrition. Rome: FAO. Quisumbing, A. R. & Meinzen-Dick, R. S., 2001. Empowering Women to Achieve Food Security. In: A 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment. Washigton D.C: IFPRI. Tuttle, J. N., 2012. Private-Sector Engagement in Food Security and Agricultural Development. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). United Nations, 2010. Technology and Innovation Report 2010: Enhancing Food Security in Africa through science, technology and innovation. New York: United Nations.

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Pin it to CAAST-Net Plus Events | Links | Opportunities

CN+ Event: Regional Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture

When: Where: Contact:

5 – 6 December 2013 Crossroads Hotel, Lilongwe, Malawi Mike Kachedwa ( Arne Tostensen (

CN+ Events: East Africa Roadshow - Horizon 2020 Information sessions and National Contact Point Training When: 20th January, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 21st January, Nairobi, Kenya 22nd January, Kampala, Uganda 24th January, Lilongwe, Malawi *Please note these dates may be subject to change. For more information and contact: Melissa Plath (

Side event on Food Security at the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation

When: 28 November 2014 Where: Sofitel Hotel, Brussels For more information and to register for this free event:

2013 Africa-EU Cooperation Forum on ICT

When: 2 – 3 December 2013 Where: African Union Conference Centre (AUCC), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia For more information and to register:

Follow us online / @CAAST_Net_Plus

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CAAST-Net Plus is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n0 311806. This document reflects only the author’s views and the European Union cannot be held liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein. Address: A307 Gate House, Black River Park, Observatory, 7925, South Africa Phone: +27 (0)21 447 5484 Fax: +27 (0)21 447 9152 Email: Web site: 12 |

Magazine December 2013 | Issue 2

This CAAST-Net Plus bi-annual magazine is produced by Research Africa.

CAAST-Net Plus Magazine  

Issue 2, December 2013

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