African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), a continental organization in Africa with a mandate for implementing the agricultural advisory services aspect of the CAADP Pillar IV programme. Founded in 2004, with a mission to promote lesson learning and add value to initiatives in agricultural extension and advisory services through information sharing and increase professional interactions , operates via a network of Country Forums(CF) is presently operational in twenty five countries in Africa. The CF brings together a wide range of actors involved in or benefitting from agricultural advisory services in the member countries. They provide a mechanism for the diverse actors, including farmers, to exchange information, share lessons and identify opportunities for providing services to each other and innovating on how to provide advisory services in their sphere of influence.
Within the overall vision for poverty reduction in Africa, AFAAS has taken tangible steps to mainstream gender into its agricultural advisory service provision agenda and institutional framework by developing a Gender Mainstreaming Strategy for the period 2016- 2019. The strategy responds to AFAAS’ projected measure of success of ‘agricultural advisory services which should have attained sufficient capacity to effectively support value chain actors towards increasing agricultural productivity and food security in a sustainable manner’. The strategy is founded on one of the major strategic directions of AFAAS to ‘support and spearhead continental agricultural development to
impact on poverty with an approach that combines the following: (a) the potential for promoting sectoral growth through value chain development; (b) supporting more appropriate innovation and service systems for poorer, marginalised smallholder farmers, to strengthen local food selfsufficiency and improve household nutrition; and (c) targeting women and youth, the social groups whose livelihoods are critically dependant on agriculture and are most actively and intensively involved in agriculture.