The ReSAKSS- Southern Africa team facilitated by the International Water Management Institute participated at the ReSAKSS 2014 Annual conference which was held in Ethiopia Addis Ababa from 08 – 10 October 2014, under the theme “Promoting Agricultural Trade to enhance resilience".
The conference brought together researchers, policymakers, donors, advocacy groups, farmers’ organizations and the private sector throughout the continent to review progress made in supporting evidence – based policy planning and implementation under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
The conference also allowed delegates to discuss findings of the 2013 Africa-wide Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) which tracks progress against key CAADP indicators and take a comprehensive look at how agricultural trade can enhance resilience of the poor and the vulnerable.
The following pertinent and critical issues were also discussed during the conference:
(i) Boosting Intra-African trade in agricultural products (challenges, opportunities and implications for smallholder agriculture, (ii) Global trade patterns, competitiveness and growth outlook, (iii) Food price volatility in Africa, (iv) How countries can harness trade with global markets to foster growth and Resilience, and (v) Overview of Agriculture Joint Sector Review (JSR) outcomes and lessons learned.
Speaking at the opening session of the conference, Dr Timothy William – IWMI Africa Director said “agriculture continues to dominate economies and livelihoods of the majority in Africa and the availability and use of fact based information is of paramount important in planning, monitoring and decision making within the sector. He said the irony is that agricultural data is scanty and very often of poor quality and this situation makes the activities of ReSAKSS very important within the agricultural sector in Africa if we want evidence – based information for planning, monitoring and decision making.
Dr Greenwell Matchaya, IWMI-SA Economist/ReSAKSS-SA Coordinator presented on Joint Sector reviews in Southern Africa, putting more highlights on the lessons learned from Mozambique and Malawi, saying that these lessons will be applied in counties where Joint Sector Reviews will be implemented in the near future.
ReSAKSS-SA mobilized participants from 15 SADC countries to attend the conference, the team of participants consisted of Policy Experts, Principal Secretaries, Policy Directors, Academicians, Chief Executive Officers etc.
The three day conference also consisted of side events where participants from different regions got an opportunity to interface and deliberate on issues that impact agricultural development within the continent. Topics such as: Targeting and measuring nutrition impacts across the CAADP results framework, Political economy of policy change in support of CAADP, How to triple intra-African agricultural and promote inclusive regional value chain development were dissected during the side events sessions.
More pictures from the conference:
The article is written by Thokozani Dlamini, Communications Officer at ReSAKSS-SA/IWMI.