“We have a dream of alignment. It is not our target, it is our instrument to reach impact.” With these words Dr. Huub Löffler, coordinator of the two-year project PROIntensAfrica, closed the project’s final seminar, organized 13–15 March, 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
During two years, the PROIntensAfrica consortium worked on a vision to build a research and innovation partnership between Europe and Africa on the field of sustainable intensification of agriculture and food and nutrition security.
The work resulted in the final paper called “Harnessing the potential of diverse intensification pathways for FNSSA: Outline for a long-term EU–Africa Research and Innovation Partnership”. During the final seminar, hosted by the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, the paper was discussed and finalised together with stakeholders.
Changing landscape, rising interest
PROIntensAfrica operated in a changing landscape. During the project’s life span, the Malabo Declaration and the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A) came into action. Further, the EU–Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on Science and Technology and Innovation (HLPD) agreed in April 2016 to adopt a Roadmap for their cooperation in the food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA) domain.
“PROIntensAfrica is the first project to build on the Roadmap and its priorities. We’re now here to work on the first priority area, sustainable intensification”, said Hans-Joerg Lutzeyer from the European Commission DG Research and Innovation.
Impact on priorities of both continents
Lutzeyer also called for research success stories and impact on the field. PROIntensAfrica has showcased some of these success stories though the 17 case studies conducted during the project.
Hambani Magheleni from the African Union Commission was also convinced about the results of PROIntensAfrica.
“This project is a good example of joint programming between Europe and Africa. It feeds into our priorities”, he said.
The work goes on
PROIntensAfrica’s results are already feeding into new collaborative efforts to continue to build a jointly funded and governed EU-AU research partnership on sustainable agriculture and food and nutrition security.
The new ERA-Net LEAP-AGRI follows the work of both ERAfrica and PROIntensAfrica. Next steps for IntensAfrica are also being mapped for the next EU framework programmes.
Text: Niina Pitkänen/Luke