Background and focus of the 2th AEW
The African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) is a continental platform for mutual learning and innovation among agricultural extension and advisory services providers across Africa.From its inception, AFAAS had aligned itself with Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), specifically CAADP Pillar IV (technology generation, dissemination, adoption and training). Through this alignment, AFAAS has been contributing to African Union’s goal of delivering average growth rate of 6% GDP. The African Union Commission (AUC) recommitted itself to enhancing CAADP momentum based on the Malabo declaration of June 2014, which emphasises accelerating agricultural growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods. AFAAS reaffirms its partnering with AUC in translating the commitments of the Malabo Declaration into results; this is strongly articulated in the 2015 April MoU between AFAAS and AUC. In particular, AFAAS will play a pivotal role in enhancing the utilisation and adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies; value-adding processes; and, loss-reducing practices; largely among smallholder producers.
AFAAS held its first Africa Wide Agricultural Extension Week in Gaborone Botswana in August 2013, which brought together over 300 delegates from more than 40 countries within and outside Africa. The delegates underscored the fact that Africa faced key challenges in agricultural productivity, because farmers did not get optimal value for their efforts and from their land potential. Some of the key factors causing this include, among others, the policy environment, capacities, delivery systems, approaches and tools like information and communication technology (ICT) – hence the theme of this second Extension Week.
The Second Africa Wide Agricultural Extension Week will take place from 12-16 October 2015, Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the theme: “Reinvigorating Extension Services for Market-led Agriculture within the Context of the Malabo Declaration”. The event is expected to bring together agricultural extension and advisory services practitioners and other agricultural value chain actors across and outside Africa. AFAAS will also hold its Fifth General Assembly during this period.
The main objective of the Extension Week is to reinvigorate agricultural extension services for market- led agriculture for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods in Africa. The specific objectives are to:
- Explore the elements for reinvigorating agricultural extension;
- Explore sustainable options for improving effectiveness and efficiency of Agricultural Extension and Advisory (AEAS investments;
- Facilitate networking, information and knowledge exchange in agricultural extension across Africa and beyond.
- Elements of enabling institutional environment for the effective delivery of agricultural extension for market led agriculture agreed;
- Sustainable options for improving effectiveness and efficiency of AEAS investments anddelivery shared;
- Synergies for achieving the CAADP agenda explored and strengthened; and
- Profile of agricultural extension at continental level raised.