The European Union, currently one of the largest benefactors to Africa’s agricultural development efforts, has partnered with FARA in a three year-initiative dubbed the ”Africa Human Capital in Science, Technology & Agripreneurship for Food Security Framework (AHC-STAFF).” The AHC-STAFF, funded to the tune of nearly Euros 4 million, seeks to develop country-based and regional investment frameworks to guide domestic and/or development partner support to demand-led and forecasted human capital formation in agriculture. In the short-run, this will benefit country CAADP implementation.
A methodology validation workshop was organized at the FARA Secretariat Conference Hall, 11 – 12 May 2015, to finalize draft AHC-STAFF methodologies developed by lead consultants for use in data gathering and needs analysis by country consultants. Speaking at the opening stages of the workshop, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, FARA’s Executive Director, underscored the important role agriculture plays in Africa’s development agenda as ratified in many high-level African Union policy pronouncements and declarations. This includes the recommitment in 2014 by African leaders to the CAADP agenda based on the Malabo “Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods.”
Dr. Yemi further outlined what African leaders have done to advance agricultural growth, the unique role of FARA in Africa’s agricultural development, previous efforts at developing capacity for CAADP implementation, FARA’s capacity development actions in the 1st CAADP decade, current efforts under the Sustaining the CAADP Momentum for enhancing capacity for CAADP implementation, and how the AHC-STAFF fits into this broad picture. He finally wished the participants successful deliberations in meeting the objectives of the two-day workshop.
The AHC-STAFF project was initiated in 2014 and is currently in its second year of implementation. It is coordinated by FARA and implemented by ASARECA (www.asareca.org), CCARDESA (www.ccardesa.org) and CORAF/WECARD (www.coraf.org). Initially, a series of studies to adduce necessary data and information for designing the AHC-STAFF have been planned in around 25 countries – six in ASARECA, seven in CCARDESA, ten in CORAF/WECARD, and one in NASRO. The studies include:
Ultimately, the studies would be conducted in most of the remaining African countries, especially those that are already engaging in the CAADP process. The main project results that AHC-STAFF seeks to deliver on are:
a) Key skills and competencies required to implement the NAFSIPs and Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa assessed.
b) Human resource pools for the targeted countries mapped for suitability to address market demands (the consumption side) and to implement the R&D programs for NAFSIPs and Science Agenda, and
c) A framework and strategies for human capital formation developed and validated.
The AHC-STAFF contributes to the FARA Result 2.2 on “Adopted mechanisms for articulating demand and strengthened capacity to respond” and Result 2.4 on “Human, organizational, and institutional capacity for agricultural innovation strengthened” as detailed in the new Medium-Term Operational Plan (MTOP, 2014 – 2018). Intended outcomes of the initiative include increased, targeted and coordinated investments in human capital formation so as to increase the numbers and competencies of scientists, technologist, managers and entrepreneurs in African universities and research institutes and practitioners in the wider agricultural innovation system