KM4AgD Challenge: Opening Remarks by Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, FARA
Date: 8th September 2021
Colleague Executive Directors of the Sub-Regional Organizations of AS ARECA, CORAF, CCARDESA & NASRO
and the Executive Director AFAAS , Prof. Andreas Brandner & Dr Sarah Cummings (Executive Director & Director of Knowledge for Development Partnership – K4DP), Prof. Dr. Kimiz Dalkir, Prof of KM @ McGill University, Dr. Annet.K. Nabatanzi Muyimba, Dean, Makerere University Business School, Uganda, Facilitators (over 20) of the KM4AgD Challenge 2021 drawn from K4DP, the Selected participants (25) of the 2021 Challenge from 20 NARES & YPARD, Invited guests & participants.
It is a great joy for me to welcome all of you, especially to this very unique day when we are flagging off the maiden Knowledge Management for Agricultural Development (KM4AgD) Challenge within the agricultural innovation system (AIS) and the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A).
In collaboration with AFAAS and the SROs (CCARDESA, ASARECA & CORAF), FARA is launching the KM4AgD Challenge as a joint activity under the CAADP-XP4 programme with funding support from the European Commission (EC) administered by IFAD.
The five organisations have jointly conceived the Challenge as an annual activity and partnering with the Knowledge for Development Partnership (K4DP), a global network of experienced KM practitioners and academics.
Knowledge is at the heart of Sustainable Development. Today’s societies are characterized by a predominant and still growing share of knowledge work at all levels of institutions.
Knowledge is essential because it supports decision making evidence-based planning and increases institutional credibility. Knowledge is critical for research organisations because research is an essential component in generating knowledge.
According to experts, Knowledge is a primary resource of societies – dynamically changing through several drivers like globalisation, digitalisation, specialisation, and more (K4DP, 2018).
Unfortunately, existing agricultural knowledge and statistics are spotty and unreliable in Africa – this despite the existence of official statistics agencies in most, if not all, African countries
The case poses a substantial challenge to CAADP-Malabo Indicators and monitoring progress towards these indicators’ biennial targets, which is tracked through Biennial Reviews (BR)at the country level. This situation also poses challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The role of AR&D institutions in knowledge generation, dissemination and use towards Africa’s agenda in halving poverty by 2025 through the CAADP Malabo commitment as well as contributing to the SDGs 2030 cannot be overemphasised
Several significant institutional developments in recent years by FARA and partners provide a valuable foundation for an attempt to improve Africa’s agricultural knowledge, information and data capture and dissemination. Examples:
In 2017, FARA and partners, through the S3A consultations, took feedback from over 40 NARIs, analysed and assessed ways to improve the “Forum’s” information management and collaboration with our partners, and came up with the following: FARADataInformS, an online observatory of AR4D in Africa.
In 2020, the CAADP-XP4 institutions established a collective agenda christened the “Akosombo Integration Agenda” out of which a Continental Data Capture Strategy (CDCS) was published.
The agenda outlined seven key areas of integration, including (1) Knowledge Management Approaches, (2) KM Tools, (3) Knowledge Resource, (4) KM Processes, (5) Communities, (6) KM Capacity Development and (7) Knowledge Ecosystems for AR4D
Therefore, this Challenge aims to improve the capture and dissemination of knowledge in African agriculture by building the appropriate capacities, establishing communities of practice, and strengthening knowledge generation, dissemination, and use mechanisms.
It comprises collaborative activities, including training KM professionals, data collection, demanded knowledge products, and three (3) key questions. These will start on September 13 and spread over to November 30. Findlings from the Challenge will be shared through a Continental KM Conference during the week of December 6 to 10, 2021.
In this context, the CAADP-XP4 Partners and the K4DP have come together to develop KM4AgD Challenge, that can be adopted and implemented across the continent.
Therefore, the main aim for this workshop is to officially launch and provide information about KM challenges among CAADP-XP4 institutions to create awareness and generate support for the maiden edition of the initiative.
FARA, AFAAS and SROs are committed to deploying the KM4AgD Challenge ad invite key partners and other key stakeholders within Africa’s AIS to join in sustaining this initiative.
Thank you for coming, and I wish you the best.
[1 The Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) has created a process to increase countries’ ownership of data, inclusivity of data structures, and learning about agricultural progress amongst key stakeholders on the African continent. This process is called the CAADP Biennial Review (BR).