Deploying Foresight in Responding to COVID-19: the AFA Approach

The Africa Foresight Academy has launched its virtual Food System foresight platform. This is a series of webinars engaging several hundreds of stakeholders and participants from the sub-regional agricultural research organizations implementing the EU-funded CAADP XP4 programme, as well as other organizations and individuals from academia, civil society, governmental and non-governmental agencies.

Moderating the opening session of the maiden edition of the AFA webinar, Dr. Abdulrazak Ibrahim, Capacity Development Officer at FARA, and the Focal Person for the Africa Foresight Academy, situated the foresight webinar series within the context of FARA’s approach to agricultural research interventions in response to COVID-19, indicating the three-prong steps of adapting technologies to fast-track mitigation of food shortages and extending storability, strengthening of food supply systems, trade and labour markets; as well as foresighting vulnerabilities in Africa’s food system.

Hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, the Africa Foresight Academy (AFA) is a network of foresight practitioners at continental, sub-regional and country levels. AFA contributes to the strengthening of capacity for foresight among professionals in African AR4D institutions and private sector through sensitization, developing competencies in conducting foresight and interpretation of foresight results, offering technical assistance to enable regional and national organizations to participate in foresight initiatives and apply results from past /ongoing foresight.

FARA is a continental infrastructure for strengthening the institutional arrangements and the promotion of foresight activities on the continent in partnership with the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR). FARA’s approach to foresight seeks to foster a proactive attitude for communities faced with changes by unveiling uncertainties and using them as a means for action.  The basis of foresight in agriculture in Africa is to facilitate forward-thinking capacity on how innovation and knowledge can best help surmount the diverse challenges facing agriculture, to ensure that agricultural research and innovation are more responsive to future agri-food systems and related development needs.

The AFA series of webinars is targeted at practitioners who want to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on food systems – Africa’s AR4D practitioners & stakeholders including policymakers, scientists, extension agents, researchers, development actors and affiliates of AFA. The weekly participatory webinar is hosted by Experts in Foresight backed by a Dgroup discussion and information and blogs shared on FARA and Foresight4Food websites.


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