Editorial written by Dr. Babatunde Omilola, ReSAKSS-Africa Wide Coordinator
The Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) provides accessible, high-quality analysis, data, and tools to agricultural practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and development professionals to promote evidence-based decisionmaking, improve the awareness of the role of agriculture for development, close knowledge gaps, promote dialogue among stakeholders, and facilitate the review process associated with the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and other leading agricultural development initiatives in Africa. A consortium of development partners including the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsors ReSAKSS.
The International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C. hosts ReSAKSS-Africa Wide, while four other institutions host three regional nodes:
- ReSAKSS-East and Central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya;
- ReSAKSS-Southern Africa-International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Pretoria, South Africa; and
- ReSAKSS-West Africa-International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Under the leadership of the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), African leaders have identified CAADP as one of the strategic programs to accelerate agricultural growth, raise incomes, and achieve the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of poor and hungry people by 2015. The CAADP aims to align and guide national agricultural sector policies, strategies, and investment programs to realize a 6 percent annual agricultural growth rate at the country level and the allocation of 10 percent of national budgets to the agriculture sector. The CAADP agenda also emphasizes accountability and peer/mutual review as part of a transition towards evidence and outcome- based policy planning and implementation.
The ReSAKSS network has been providing technical support in implementing CAADP by:
- Reviewing ongoing agricultural development efforts in several African countries and identifying gaps that need to be closed to increase growth and reduce poverty and hunger;
- Specifying the strategies for reducing poverty and increasing growth and the associated funding needed to guide long-term development efforts in the agricultural sector; and
- Identifying the review, dialogue, and knowledge mechanisms to facilitate the transition towards evidence-based and outcome-oriented strategy planning and implementation.
The ReSAKSS network led a number of knowledge sharing and dissemination activities in 2008:
- Produced an interactive website featuring easy-to-use data visualization tools on agricultural development indicators in African countries and regions;
- Wrote and disseminated a series of working papers, issue briefs, annual trends reports to policymakers, researchers, and development practitioners;
- Developed measures and indicators to monitor agricultural growth, food security, and poverty reduction for progress review at the country level, peer review at the regional level, and mutual review at the Africa wide level; and
- Established a critical network of agricultural experts at the country, regional, and Africa-wide level, including staff from international development agencies, research institutions and other development partners.
We sincerely urge you to take advantage of the ReSAKSS e-newsletter to receive up-to-date information on ReSAKSS outputs, planned activities, policy research findings, and stakeholder communications.
For more information, please visit the ReSAKSS website.