The 2020 meeting of the programme coordination panel for the Ex-CAADP Pillar IV institutions is being hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), in Accra. As a technical arm of the African Union, FARA is responsible for the advancement and coordination of Agricultural Research for Development in Africa.
To effectively play its coordination role, FARA has instituted a Programme Coordination Panel (PC Panel) to provide technical advice, quality assurance and relevance of its Programmes and Projects in line with its mandate of deepening and coordinating Integrated Agricultural Research for Development in Africa.
The PC Panel aims to build the capacity and readiness of FARA to coordinate, take advantage of opportunities, enhance synergies and accountability and reduce duplications in the implementation of the CAADP XP4. The PC Panel is currently FARA’s main instrument for peer reviewing and joint planning, which is used to provide direct advisory support to the forum’s Directorate of Research and Innovation for ensuring programme quality, and alignment of FARA’s programmes to other AR4D interventions in Africa.
The two-day PC Panel engagement seeks among other things:
- to take stock of the highlights of the implementation of FARA’s Strategy (2019- 2028), to guide reflection on strategic direction to the AR4D interventions on the continent;
- identify areas of alignment of FARA’s Strategy to respective strategies of SROs and AFAAS to jointly support AR4D institutions in Africa;
- refine areas of planning to strengthen partnership and cooperation among partner-member institutions of the PC panel;
- the update specifically the joint planning and portfolio review mechanisms within the CAADP-XP4 Project
Addressing the participants, the Executive Director of FARA, Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, underscored the need for open and frank deliberations as that is the surest way of creating the needed synergy for alignment for implementing the CAADP XP4.
“The PC Panel is instituted to help build our preparedness to work together in the area of AR4D in Africa. It is a peer review mechanism, where we are encouraged to open our books to one another, having a frank conversation and drawing on the experiences of everyone in the room”
Dr Akinbamijo also indicated that
“as a part of keeping our eyes on the ball, and to take stock of the highlights of the implementation of our strategy, we hope that this forum will help us to reflect on our strategic directions for our AR4D interventions on the continent”.
Dr Malu Ndavi, Programme Manager for the CAADP XP4 at the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, used the occasion to reiterate the expectations of the European Commission who are the funders of the CAADP XP4 Programme and also suggested the expansion of the PC Panel to accommodate views from other actors in the agricultural science research value chain such as farmers.
“There are very specific achievements that the EC expects from the CAADXP4 implementing institutions. We want the partners to be more external-looking as opposed to internal-looking, to enhance collaboration. There should be the possibility to include representatives of farmer organizations on the PC Panel, to provide inputs to the strategic thrust of the CAADP XP4”
On his part, Dr. Kwesi Attah-Krah, Director, Advocacy and Country Alignment, Office of the Director-General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, reminded the participants of the need for collaboration and alignment as the success of FARA is vital to the overall success of Agricultural Research for Development in Africa.
The PC Panel is constituted by Directors of Research and Innovation of AR4D institutions in Africa, notably, FARA, AFAAS, ASARECA, CCARDESA, CORAF and NAASRO. Other members include Directors, Advisors and Lead Specialists in FARA.