The Director of Research and Innovations at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Dr. Irene Annor-Frempong has called on stakeholders and other actors in the agricultural research for development (AR4D) space, to take advantage of advancements in foresight, in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, to push towards the achievement of Africa’s Agenda 2063; achieving food and nutrition security on the continent.
Speaking at the third Africa Foresight Academy webinar hosted by FARA and the CAADP XP4 implementing partners, Dr. Annor-Frempong reiterated the importance of and the need to deploy foresight in the general scheme of agricultural research for development in Africa.
“FARA’s core mandate is about visioning African agricultural research in order to be able to anticipate tomorrow today, and one of the key things we do is around agenda setting, and foresight is really critical to this effort” she stressed.
The Director of Research and Innovations touched on FARA’s collaborative efforts with different partners, particularly with the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR), in the area of foresight on the continent; indicating that
“we can boast of having a platform called the African Foresight Academy, which is the African component of the global foresight academy”.
Dr. Annor-Frempong also said that Africa was at the brink of many vulnerabilities that impacted on the continent’s food and nutrition security; and therefore, stressed the need to prioritize research, by ensuring that the little investments which are available are targeted to those priorities, not just for today but also for the future. Addressing the issue of overall dearth of capacity across the agriculture value chain on the continent in the area of foresight, Dr. Annor-Frempong said,
“Africa’s own capacity to do that is very low, and so one of the key areas which FARA focuses its foresight work is how we strengthen Africa’s own capacities to use foresight to project and anticipate what we need to do for the future. A case in point is Africa’s own agenda 2063 which gives us our marching orders and within that, FARA’s best work on foresight is pitched”.
The series of webinars under the Africa Foresight Academy is within the context of the CAADP XP4 initiative funded by the European Commission and implemented through the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and anchored by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) and CORAF.