By Isaiah Esipisu
ABIDJAN, Cote d'Ivoire, (PAMACC News) – Kenya’s Prof Ruth Oniang’o and Mrs Maïmouna Sidibe Coulibaly from Mali have jointly won $10,000 worth of the Africa Food Prize - 2017.
The women, working at both ends of the agriculture supply chain were awarded the prize for their exemplary efforts in driving Africa's agriculture transformation at the 2017 Africa Green Revolution Forum in Abidjan.
Hon. Prof Oniang'o is recognised as the leading voice of nutrition in Africa and for her relentless advocacy for the availability and affordability of diverse and nutritious crops for millions across the continent. She pioneered nutrition leadership in academia, research, and policy to improve food security and nutrition. Her groundbreaking work, with farmers' groups and rural communities connects agriculture and nutrition both in research and practice providing a natural link between agriculture and nutrition.
Mrs Coulibaly, on the other hand has been feted for her mission to produce and supply improved and high-yielding seed that have led to improved incomes and nutrition for millions in Mali and other West African countries.
Through sheer hard work and consistency, Coulibaly has overcome multiple hurdles to build a leading seed company that is fast becoming a model for Africa's agri-businesses. Her company, Faso Kaba, specialises in the production and sale of a wide range of improved seeds, including cereals, oil seeds, market gardening, fodder and tuber seeds that can improve agricultural yields by up to 40 per cent.
The Prize recognises and puts a spotlight on shining examples of agricultural projects that are transforming lives and economies.
According to H.E. President Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria and the Chairperson of the Prize Committee, the 2017 Prize winners come from both the public and private sector representing how both groups are working together to transform agriculture into a high value industry sector. He said that this year’s award attracted over 600 nominees.
"It gives me immense pride that this year's winners are both women. This is a clear demonstration that women in Africa are at the forefront in terms of connecting the rising food needs and the continent's vision for prosperity that is driven by agriculture and agri-business. The fact that the winners work at either end of the agriculture value chain, represent both private and public sector and are from different parts of Africa reflects the wide impact agriculture has in transforming economies and reducing poverty, way beyond the fields," he former Nigerian president.
A strong believer in farming being the bridge between humankind and nature, Prof. Ruth Oniang'o spends most of her time with smallholder farmers and women in rural areas helping them to transform their household's ability to produce, purchase and consume foods in higher quality and quantities. She reckons that smallholder farmers are the most valuable part of the market and the entrepreneurial value chain.
"I believe we are what we eat. I realized early on in my life, when I dreamt of being a doctor, that food is the first medicine," said Prof. Oniang'o in a statement to the press. "I am humbled to receive this Prize and believe it highlights the work we have done and more importantly, it will contribute towards shaping our continent's food future. I am a strong believer that Africa shall, one day, feed the world." said Prof Oniang'o.
For her part, Mme. Coulibaly observed that the opportunities for Africa agribusinesses are endless. She however, decried the enormous challenges African entrepreneurs especially start-ups face as they try to set up businesses.
"I am honored and humbled to receive this Prize. It is, in part, a validation of the hard work that I have put into building Faso Kaba with the support of my family and staff. I would like to say that it has been easy. There are many times when I almost gave up as I struggled to raise to finance the business. I am glad I stayed true to my vision, attended many trainings and worked with partners that believed in my vision," " she said. Today, we have become a model that many people that are starting businesses come to. I no longer book appointments with the banks. They call me with financing proposal. I look forward to a time when businesses will not struggle to start like I did," she added.
The 2016 winner of Africa Food Prize is Dr Kanayo Nwanze, the former President of the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). Dr. Nwanze was awarded for his visionary leadership and passionate advocacy to place African smallholder farmers at the centre of the global agricultural agenda, and for his demonstrated success in advancing policies, programs and resources that have improved the lives of millions across the continent.
The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance in collaboration with Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) consortium - a partnership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), will in October organize the 7th Climate Change and Development in Africa Conference (CCDA-VII).
The conference will be hosted in Nairobi, Kenya starting October 11 to October 13, 2017, with the theme this year being: “Implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Africa: From Policies to Action”.
This year, CCDA is expected to attract 400-500 participants. Specific constituencies expected to attend from within and outside of Africa include researchers, academia, policy makers, parliamentarians, negotiators, development partners, intergovernmental organizations, media professionals, Multilateral Development Banks, the private sector, civil society, and youth and gender groups.
The meeting aims to critically examine the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of African countries and Africa’s readiness to translate NDCs into actionable development plans and programmes, assess the effectiveness of mechanisms to provide adequate means of implementation to meet the required levels of ambition; and examine global political economy issues for the effective implementation of NDCs in support of sustainable, inclusive and climate-resilient development on the continent.
CCDA-VII will be organized into five sub-themes constituting the “the 5 ‘Is’ of implementing the Paris Agreement in Africa” – Intentions, Interests, Issues, Investments, and Inventory.
Contact Person: Samson Ogallah
PACT (Project for Advancing Climate Transparency) works towards advancing the development of robust and effective transparency and accountability rules and processes for the Paris Agreement.
It seeks to develop options and approaches for the transparency framework, building consensus among parties and providing relevant and timely inputs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.
The project is implemented through a global PACT Consortium led by World Resources Institute (WRI), and will deliver the following:
- Conduct rigorous research and analysis of technical, policy, legal and political considerations related to the development of the transparency and accountability regime of the Paris Agreement.
- Hold national, regional and international meetings with a wide range of targeted stakeholders to further inform and enhance this research and analysis, while building capacity and awareness among key stakeholders.
- Undertake actions to enhance the in-country capacity of developing countries, including middle-income developing countries, to ensure their full participation in UNFCCC decision-making processes and improvement over time in the quality of the information they submit to the UNFCCC.
Expected project outcomes
- A set of options and approaches for the modalities, procedures, and guidelines (MPGs) for transparency under the Paris Agreement
- Specific text proposals, including legal text
- Enhanced country capacities
- Stakeholder engagement through national, regional and international meetings
The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has been chosen as one of the key partners in a Governing Inclusive Green Growth in Africa (GIGGA) research project.
The project, which will be spearheaded by the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, seeks to lay a foundation for further research into the dynamics, prospects, and implications of green growth on the continent.
“Particular attention will be paid to understanding key challenges for leveraging green growth as a means to tackle inequality and poverty plus interventions that can be honed to transcend existing barriers to deliver results at scale and enhance sustainability,” read a description on their website.
The project comprises researchers from multiple disciplines, from UK, Africa, and India, African think tanks, civil society organisations and government departments.
The project seeks to achieve its objective by organizing workshops, mapping existing green growth activities on the continent, analyzing the political and social environment of African societies and assessing the current technology gap on the continent.
“Capacity will be built through collaborative planning, mentoring, and peer networks. Partnership with a leading research and policy think tank in India will promote South-South cooperation,” read the statement on their website.
The research will address issues on a continental level but will focus on Kenya, which has made efforts to embrace green development, Ethiopia, which is pursuing an ambitious green growth strategy, and Nigeria which is the most populous and biggest economy in Africa.
The project hopes to influence a greater understanding of current activities and patterns of greening in Africa and the implications for poverty reduction and sustainable development; the motivation of key actors, enabling and constraining political economy factors; key institutions and governance approaches; existing challenges, capacity needs/gaps; barriers and opportunities; potential lessons that can be learned from other developing countries, especially India; and identification of potential solutions and cutting-edge research agenda in the area, read the statement on their website.
The Governing Inclusive Green Growth in Africa (GIGGA), led by Professor Chukwumerije Okereke from the University of Reading, is a collaborative Network funded by the United Kingdom Research Council, under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
Food Security and Climate Change Workshop in the Context of Pastoralism
Engagement in climate change processes requires an understanding of climate change and its impact on pastoralism as a key food source in Kenya. A process that ensures enhancing of capacity to adapt and mitigate climate change at
A process that ensures enhancing of capacity to adapt and mitigate climate change at the pastoral community level and as well integration of community climate actions in government policies and plans is one that aims at achieving sustainability. Therefore, this training intervention sets out to build momentum to achieve sustained pastoralist climate actions with the aim of:
Therefore, this training intervention sets out to build momentum to achieve sustained pastoralist climate actions with the aim of:
influencing climate change policies, plans, and programmes at national, regional and international level
facilitating the adoption of climate-resilient approaches by local communities.