The 2015 Forum of the Africa-Brazil Innovation Marketplace held between 13th and 18th September, 2015 in Brasilia, showcasing 25 projects with outstanding technological outputs. The different projects are part of the Africa Brazil Innovation market place program that is jointly anchored by Embrapa in Brazil and FARA in Africa with the financial and technical support of the DFID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IFAD and the World Bank. The Forum event is an annual conference of the Africa Brazil Innovation Market place project which brings together the project implementing scientists from Africa and Brazil to present the progress of the different projects and exchange knowledge to foster the generation of technologies. It also provides opportunities for new projects to have direct interaction with their partners and resolve any outstanding issues. The Innovation Market Place projects aim to foster the development of Africa’s agriculture through the exchange of knowledge and technologies between Brazilian and African research institutions to foster the development of technology packages and address the low productivities of important commodities and systems of production in the two continents. More so, existing projects were implemented by African scientists in close partnership with Brazilian counterparts drawn from the different Embrapa Institutions.
In the opening remarks, the Director of International Relation Affairs at Embrapa, Dr. Mario Seixas lauded the exemplary partnership between Embrapa and Africa research organizations for mutual benefits; he reiterated the need to further strengthen the model by running activities that will translate research outputs into real developmental outcomes. The Africa-Brazil innovation market place model has been lauded by many international development partners as an outstanding South-South research collaboration model and has been copied by a handful of initiatives. In the same vein, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, the Executive Director of FARA emphasized the role of partnership in fast-tracking the growth of Africa’s agriculture stating the African adage that says: “If you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, you have to go with others”. He restated that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will officially take over from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in a few weeks and stressed the need for Africa’s partners to braze up and catch the development train of the moments. Shirly Mapai of the BMGF elaborated the need to ensure that technologies are translated to developmental outcomes and impact which was lauded by the IFAD representative in Brazil, who emphasized that the interest of IFAD in Africa Brazil Market Place is to foster poverty reduction across the globe and this can be achieved by generating outstanding technologies on one hand and translating the technologies into measurable impact among other things.
Furthermore, the 2015 Forum introduced the second level program of the innovation market place dubbed “Building on Successes from the Market Place” (MBoSs). The project which is supported by BMGF, DFID and IFAD will be supporting the scaling of outstanding technologies from the projects in the Market place and it will ensure that the technologies are translated to benefits for broad categories of stakeholders.