Email: aasw8@faraafrica.org Tel:+233 0302 744888

GA 2020

CONCEPT NOTE

 

8TH FARA GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Theme: Institutions, Innovations, Impact

24 – 25 November 2020

Background

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is the continental apex organisation for agricultural research and innovation in Africa.  It is also the body mandated by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA)-NEPAD to serve as their technical arm on agricultural research and innovation. 

As the apex organisation, FARA provides a platform for all stakeholders engaged in agriculture research and innovation on the continent to reflect, network and establish strategic partnerships (e.g. with other regions of the world), exchange information and identify and implement actions that are best executed at a continental level. 

FARA also facilitates the deployment of science, technology and innovation to accelerate the achievement of the continent’s agriculture and food security targets as set out in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the 2014 Malabo declaration on accelerated African agricultural growth and transformation.

The General Assembly (GA) is FARA’s highest organ of governance.  It is convened by the Board of FARA every three years.  In response to demand from FARA’s stakeholders, from 2005 when the third FARA GA was held, the GA was bundled with the African Agriculture Science Week (AASW).  The AASW took the form of a continental scientific conference and an agricultural research and innovation marketplace / exhibition. 

The AASW stands out as the biggest platform convened by agriculture research stakeholders to take stock of their achievements and to reflect and plan on how to enhance the contribution of agriculture research and innovation to accelerating the continent’s economic and social transformation.  The GA provides ultimate oversight of FARA by approving and ratifying policies, amendments to the constitution and governance manual, selection and appointment of the Chairperson and the Board of Directors, the strategy and business plan.  The GA also delegates to the Board powers for the effective and efficient implementation of FARA’s work. Further, it provides a platform to debate and identify critical issues affecting African agricultural research and innovation for the attention of FARA.

The last AASW and FARA GA was the seventh edition of the event.  It was held in Kigali, Rwanda in June 2016.  The 8th edition of this event was set to be held in 2019 but owing to unforeseen circumstances it was postponed to 2020.  Following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions, the Board of FARA resolved to unbundle the AASW and FARA GA and hold the two events separately.  The Board resolved to hold the GA as a virtual event on 24th and 25th November 2020 and the AASW in July 2021 as a face-to-face event, if circumstances prevailing at that time will permit.

This concept note focuses on the organisation of the 8th FARA General Assembly as a virtual and stand-alone event.

 

Objectives of the 8th FARA General Assembly

The main objectives of the 8th FARA GA are to:

  1. Create an open space for:
  • Discussing issues affecting African agricultural research and innovation that require specific attention by FARA (the forum)
  • Launching and mobilising stakeholder support for key continental research and innovation initiatives that contribute to the continent’s agricultural development agenda
  1. Make decisions on the governance, institutional arrangements and the strategic programmatic orientation of FARA.
  2. Enhance FARA’s visibility and recognition of its mandate.

Outputs and Outcomes

The main outputs and outcomes expected from the 8th FARA GA are:

  • Recommendations from the dialogue on issues affecting African agricultural research and innovation that require specific attention by FARA (the forum).
  • Increased awareness and stakeholder ownership of selected continental research and innovation initiatives that contribute to the continent’s agricultural development agenda.
  • Communication of achievements and progress on recommendations of the last General Assembly.
  • Ratification of the selection and appointment of the Chairperson of FARA.
  • Appointment of a new Board of Directors.
  • Amendments to the Constitution and Governance Manual of FARA.
  • Approval of FARA’s Strategy (2019-2028) and Business Plan (2019-2023).

Approach

The 8th FARA General Assembly will be a virtual event spanning two days (24-25 November 2020).  Its theme is aligned to the theme of FARA’s strategy and business plan, namely: “institutions, investments and impact”. The first day will feature a plenary dialogue on the theme “Unlocking domestic investments to make science and innovation work for agricultural development in Africa”. This will be followed by three parallel sessions on the following:

Structure of the programme for Day 1 of the 8th FARA General Assembly (24th November 2020)

Plenary

Unlocking domestic investments to make science and innovation work for agricultural development in Africa.

Parallel sessions at time slots to be determined after consultations

Launch of the component of the CAADP ex-Pillar IV (CAADP-XP4) programme implemented by FARA.

Re-launch of the Africa Foresight Academy.

Mobilisation of stakeholder support and ownership of the Europe-Africa roadmap on food and nutrition security for sustainable agriculture (FNSSA). This will be organised by the LEAP4FNSSA consortium.

Programme for Accompanying Research in Agricultural Innovation (PARI): the launch of “Cultivate Africa” initiative.

Stakeholder consultation on the Soils4Africa initiative.

Operationalisation of the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa: progress and prospects.

Since the General Assembly will coincide with the 2020 CAADP Partnership Platform (PP), FARA is exploring the prospect of having some of the parallel sessions that are directly aligned with CAADP, for example the sessions on CAADP XP4 and on the Science Agenda, to be co-hosted as FARA GA and CAADP PP sessions.

The second day will be devoted to the business session of the General Assembly which will feature the following:

Structure of the programme for Day 2 of the 8th FARA General Assembly (25th November 2020)

·     Report from the Board

·     Report from the FARA Secretariat

·     Recommendations from Plenary Session for endorsement 

·     Presentation and endorsement of the Strategy and business plan

·     Ratification of amendments to the Constitution and Governance Manual of FARA

·     Election of FARA Chairperson, and appointment of new Board Directors

Participants

All stakeholders in African agriculture science, technology and innovations including those engaged in research, extension, education, production, post-production processes, agribusiness, policy makers, investors, consumers, the media and other services that support agricultural development.

Duration

2 days: 24-25 November 2020

Contact

Dr Wole Fatunbi

Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa

Email: ofatunbi@faraafrica.org