EU-Africa High Level Meeting on Food Security Bears Fruit
Towards a Co-financed, Co-managed Partnership
The aim of the meeting was to shape the roadmap towards a co-financed and co-managed research and innovation partnership with a first focus on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.
The Bureau meeting provided an opportunity for the EU-Africa HLPD Expert Working Group (comprising 5 experts from Africa and 5 from Europe) on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture to meet with the Bureau and discuss progress, including the external consultation, on the roadmap, and agree on steps to its completion.
The Bureau, adopted at the second Africa-EU Summit in 2007, provides technical support to the HLPD.
The HLPD is a platform for high-level discussions on research and innovation policy mandated with formulating and implementing long-term priorities to strengthen bi-regional STI cooperation.
It is co-chaired by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation and the Congo (former chair of the African Union’s African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology).
The Bureau is an element of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), which seeks to develop a political vision and practical approaches to further cement EU-Africa cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
Present at the meetings were members of the Bureau, the Expert Working Group, science, technology and innovation project partners and EU-Africa STI project funding partners. Several CAAST-Net Plus partners were also in attendance, including:
- Kenya’s Ministry of Higher Education
- Science and Technology (MOHEST)
- South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology (DST)
- UK’s Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)
- Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation in the Netherlands (CTA)
- International Bureau of the Project Management Agency of the German Aerospace Centre (PT-DLR).
Other organisations represented at the meetings included the Ivory Coast’s Strategic Support Programme for Scientific Research, the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Role of CAAST-Net Plus
CAAST-Net Plus, ERAfrica and new EU-Africa cooperation network, Research and Innovation Network for Europe and Africa (RINEA), which share the common goal of strengthening bi-regional STI cooperation, a goal clearly aligned with the interests of Bureau, shared mechanisms that could be considered in supporting the bi-regional STI partnership on food and nutrition security.
“CAAST-Net Plus, ERAfrica and RINEA are joint EU-Africa projects that are working together to support and reinforce the broad EU-Africa relationship around cooperation in scientific and technological research, and the EU-Africa STI partnership in particular," says CAAST-Net Plus project coordinator Dr Andrew Cherry.
"The projects employ a range of different but complementary coordination and support mechanisms.”
The series of meetings held over the two days encouraged discussions between members of the Bureau, the Expert Working Group, policy-makers, project partners and funders on potential implementation modalities of the food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture roadmap.
In addition, funders expressed interest in launching a second call for EU-Africa research proposals, following the success of the ERAfrica joint call for project proposals in 2013.
Towards the end of April 2015, it is expected that the food and nutrition experts will complete their direct involvement in the process, handing over the roadmap to the Bureau.
What follows thereafter is likely to be a political process that will involve further consultation and may lead to the inclusion of additional elements in the roadmap, such as reference to a range of potential funding instruments and stakeholders, and perhaps to monitoring and evaluation contingencies.
CAAST-Net Plus continues to facilitate and support more and better bi-regional STI cooperation in key areas through evaluations of bi-regional research (both policy impacts and practical), policy level recommendations based on stakeholders engagements, programming, coordination activities and academia-industry link-ups.
CAAST-Net Plus also supports bi-regional cooperation by raising awareness of cooperation opportunities both through Horizon 2020 information sessions and National Contact Point traning workshops.
- Side Event on Food Security at High Level Policy Meeting
- Report on the Side Event on Food Security at High Level Policy Meeting
- Bureau of EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on STI to Meet
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Disclaimer: 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 authors’ views and the European Union cannot be held liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.