Page 1


EIN-Afric A R

Regional Agricultural and Environmental Innovations Network - Africa

Our commitment to Co-innovation for sustainable development in Southern Africa

Quotes from some RAEIN-Africa partners in the region TANZANIA “Banana Tissue Culture Platform addresses our real need of good banana planting materials and this will improve our productivity, food security and livelihoods” - Mukuyuni Banana Farmer, Tanzania ZIMBABWE “By providing a platform where ideas, skills and knowledge can be exchanged, our community is now a better place to live in. Thank you RAEIN-Africa for your efforts.” Steven Muranda, Zimbabwean RAEIN-Africa Partner NAMIBIA “We now have skills in livestock managment and artificial insemination, we look forward to benefit from our breed of choice” Otjinene Artificial Insemination Farmer - Namibia SWAZILAND “RAEIN-Africa has facilitated and catalysed the approval of biosafety regula-

Who We Are A network organisation


RAEIN-Africa is a network of a wide variety of

RAEIN-Africa is involved in a range of activities that sup-

development actors in the SADC (Southern Afri-

port the use of science & technology and indigenous

can Development Community). In this network,

knowledge to overcome barriers to sustainable devel-

representatives from government, academia,

opment in SADC. They include national and regional

civil society, media, communities, private sector

innovation platforms, various forms of capacity devel-

and legislative offices work together around core

opment of participants of innovation platforms, strate-

innovation themes on food security and liveli-

gic dialogues, research, development of guidelines and

hoods, climate change and environment as well

regional conferences.

as policy and governance.

tory mechanisms through innovative



systems approach in public awareness

RAEIN-Africa is organised around a network of

RAEIN-Africa is governed by a Board of Trustees with

and participation, emphasising stake-

national thematic multi-stakeholder innova-

representatives from 9 countries in Southern Africa and

holder based initiatives” - Dr. Cebisile

tion platforms with a secretariat provided by

coordinated by a secretariat, which is based in Pretoria,

Magagula Swaziland RAEIN-Africa In-

a relevant Ministry/Parastatal or University or

South Africa.

novation Platform Chairperson

Civil society. At regional level there are Thematic Coordination platforms.




RAEIN-Africa Building Blocks Innovation Platforms Innovation platforms showcase the importance of multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approaches to innovation. The innovation platforms identify specific country relevant initiatives on food security and livelihoods, climate change and environment as well as policy and governance. They have

“Before we became part of the Platform we used to buy low quality sweetpotato planting materials, now we have established our own nurseries with cleaned materials and sell some to others” - Malawi Farmer

been instrumental in improving interaction and dialogue among key stakeholders.

Networking Vision


An enabling environment for co-

To enhance capacity of key

innovation practice in SADC to

development actors in SADC to

serve sustainable development in

make co-innovation happen and

the best way possible.

serve sustainable development in the best way possible.


Values & Principals

RAEIN-Africa overcomes constraints

• Inclusive

to sustainable development through

• Gender-sensitive

co-innovation that is grounded in

• Participatory

multi-stakeholder processes and an

• Shared Learning

innovation systems perspective.

• Equity

A network organisation is a perfect match with coinnovation processes. It links local-level innovation processes to become nationallevel co-innovation. And it takes national-level innovation processes to become regional-level co-innovation. This multiplies capacities for shared learning and change, and thereby takes innovation to a next level.

Co-innovation for Sustainable Development

Knowledge Generation

RAEIN-Africa believes in “Being in it together” as a basis for innovating for sustainable development. Engaging all relevant development actors, communities, government, civil society, academia, NGOs, as well as creating opportunities for public-private partnerships increases the ability of national platforms to achieve innovation breakthroughs.

Informed decision making is critical for positive development outcomes. The blending of different types of knowledge, indigenous, scientific and experiential, through the multistakeholder platforms have been RAEIN-Africa’s trump card in unlocking positive development outcomes in the SADC. RAEIN-Africa has significantly contributed to informed policy dialogue in SADC.

Science & Technology

Capacity Development

Science and technology have an important role to play in innovation systems. Meaningful change and sustainable development can happen when science & technology play their roles in an interactive way with other development actors. As a result development actors will offer more effective solutions for sustainable development.

Co-innovation and related processes require refocusing and recharging capacities. RAEIN-Africa believes in a comprehensive approach to capacity development, which includes training, coaching, facilitating knowledge sharing, networking and mentoring of professionals.

Innovation in Practice Co-innovation involves being in constant interaction with community-level as well as policy-level realities to avoid mere wishful thinking. This provides a continuous reality check on developed approaches and methods. For this reason, innovation platforms involve on-the-ground projects, such as on biosafety regulatory frameworks in Swaziland, on sweet potato cultivation in Malawi, and on artificial insemination of cattle in Namibia. Lessons learnt in these contexts are shared and used to inform new initiatives.




MULTI-STAKEHOLDER INNOVATION PLATFORMS - SOME EXAMPLES The following innovation platforms enjoy multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder involvement, including active participation by communities, media, lawyers and entrepreneurs, to ensure relevant development actors take part to enhance effectiveness.

Biosafety legislation to enhance enabling environment in Swaziland Without clear legislation on biosafety, it is unclear how to move forward regarding the use of modern biotechnology in a country. Opportunities for sustainable development may be missed and threats to health may be left unaddressed. The Swaziland policy awareness and public participation (PAPP) innovation platform managed to move the process of biosafety legislation forward to the point of seeing the Biosafety Bill passed and signed by the King into law.

Improving livelihoods through livestock innovation in Namibia Quality of cattle breeds, calving rates and management practices are posing challenges to many communities in Namibia. Traditional breeding practice limits opportunities for improvement. Community-based artificial insemination (AI) may hold a promise. The AI

“The SANGL - Southern African Network for GM Detection Laboratories - aims to help develop and provide support for GM detection in Southern Africa through a self initiated support network - Africa for Africa by Africa.� - Prof. Chris Viljoen, SANGL Coordinator

innovation platform created new opportunities for exploring and fine-tuning community-based AI by joining scientific and indigenous knowledge.

Sweet potato value chain innovation for food security in Malawi Sweet potato production is one of the most important sources of livelihoods in the Makhanga region of Malawi. Poor yields as

The SANGL Regional Network RAEIN-Africa facilitated establishment of the Southern African Network of GMO Detection Laboratories (SANGL). It is a network of 24 laboratories from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Replublic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Network was established in 2009 and is providing technical support for GMO testing, establish guidelines for best practice in GM detection facili-

a result of disease infestation and poor agronomic and marketing practices limit the potential of sweet potatoes to contribute meaningfully to rural livelihoods. Farmers, researchers, local government officials, extensionists, nutritionists and entrepreneurs created an innovation platform to develop and experiment with new sweet potato disease free planting materials and improved agronomic practices. This has since opened new opportunities for

tate training in GM detection and organize proficiency testing between participating laboratories. The laboratories

farmers. With improved market access, this will increase incomes

exchange ideas on methods, instruments and practice on a regular basis.

and strengthen resilience of rural livelihoods.




Regional Agricultural and Environmental Innovations Network - Africa National Coordinating Partners in SADC Botswana Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Research(DAR) Somarelang Tikologo (NGO)

Malawi Bunda College of Agriculture, University of Malawi Centre for Environmental Policy & Advocacy (CEPA)

Partners beyond SADC • African Union (AU) • Austrian Environmental Agency • GenØk NORAD • International Food Policy Research _ Institute (IFPRI) • Foundation for International Environmental _ Law and Development (FIELD) • Geobotanical Institute, Zurich Switzerland • Netherland Ministry of Infrastructure and


_ Environment (I&E)

Ministry of Education, Directorate of Research,

• United Nations Environment Programme -

Science and Technology

_ Global Environment Programme (UNEP-GEF) • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

South Africa

_ Secretariat

University of Limpopo

• International Union for Conservation of

Swaziland University of Swaziland Swaziland Environmental Authority (SEA)

Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH)

Zambia National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR), Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (Pelum)

_ Nature (IUCN)

Contact Details Physical: 19 Frikkie De Beer, Atterbury Estate, Block 5, Ground Floor, Menlyn, Pretoria, South Africa

Postal: RAEIN-Africa, Box 657, Menlyn Retail Park 0063, Pretoria, South Africa Tel: +27123480352, +27123481160 Fax: +27123481136 Email:

Biotechnology Trust of Zimbabwe (NGO)






EIN-Afric A R

Raein A4  
Raein A4