ASARECA coordinating Science Agenda roll-out

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Participants at the S3A meeting in Kigali, Rwanda in a group photo

ASARECA is strategically positioned to ensure that the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A) and other continental frameworks designed to deliver life changing science technology and innovations are achieved.

Addressing participants at the just concluded national consultations for developing the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A) rollout plan for Rwanda, ASARECA Interim Executive Secretary, Dr. Cyprian Ebong, said ASARECA new Strategy and Results Framework (2017-2027) places the institution in a central position to facilitate, support, coordinate and advocate for the best options to enhance sustainable agricultural transformation, sustained economic growth and inclusive development in the Eastern and Central Africa (ECA) sub-region.

Convening role

“ASARECA’s new niche offers us an opportunity to provide leadership in advocacy and brokering, nurturing, coordinating and facilitating effective Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A). This roles are key in delivering high priority development outcomes in the ECA sub region,” Dr. Ebong said in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali on June 19, 2017.

The Science Agenda (S3A) is regarded as the game-changer for the continent’s agricultural transformation. Its vision is to ensure that “By 2030 Africa is food secure, a global scientific player, and the world’s breadbasket.”

Trigger for transformation

The S3A amongst other things advocates for the doubling of public and private sector investment into agricultural research for development (AR4D) by 2020. Its implementation within the countries is anticipated to create favourable policy environment for science, enhance capacity strengthening mechanisms, promote effective financing arrangements, and support innovation platforms in advancing agricultural transformation.

The five-day workshop was meant to device effective mechanisms for rolling out the S3A. The objectives of the workshop were:

  1. Sensitize participants on the status and strategy of the S3A.
  2. Craft a theory of change and results framework, emphasizing science priorities, needs, baselines and expected change resulting from mainstreaming S3A at national levels.
  3. Set up a controlled process for deepening Rwanda’s engagements with S3A implementation.
  4. Refresh Rwanda’s National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs) with respect to science, technology and innovation (STI) preparedness to deliver the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and Malabo targets.
  5. Create an information base for the Rwanda-driven proposal to IFAD for implementation of S3A.

The workshop was hosted by the Government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) and convened and coordinated by FARA and ASARECA. Discussions centred around S3A concepts and processes; country action plans for S3A mainstreaming; realising S3A vision at country level and aligning regional and national priorities, results framework, theory of change and knowledge management.

The workshop key outputs included an elaborate insight into common challenges and opportunities in S3A implementation; understanding of the state of existing science facilities and the extent of their utilisation; understanding of the specific roles of Rwanda as one of the S3A front runner countries in Africa; refining national level S3A implementation strategies and operational modalities; elaborating the theory of change, results framework and knowledge management mechanisms for Rwanda.

Critical stakeholders decide

The workshop drew participants from Rwanda’s Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources; Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning; Ministry of Education; University of Rwanda; the National Commission of Science and Technology; Capacity Development and Employment Services Board; the University of Kibungo; Ministry of Natural Resources; Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB); development partners including IFAD, European Commission, ACIAR, USAID, DFID, Embassy of the Netherlands, JICA, KOICA, CIAT, IITA, CIP and ICRAF; Private Sector Federation; farmer organizations; and the civil society.

Date Published: 
Wednesday, 05 July 2017