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Origins and Legitimacy of FANRPAN

FANRPAN: A Historical Perspective

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  1. Preamble
  2. Call by Ministers of Agriculture and Environment in Eastern and Southern Africa: 1994
  3. Response by COMESA Secretariat: 1994
  4. Response by the SADC Communities: 1997
  5. FANRPAN Registration: 2003
  6. Accreditation of FANRPAN Regional Secretariat by the Government of the Republic of South Africa: 2005
  7. FANRPAN Constitution and Strategic Plan: 2007
  8. FANRPAN Goes Africa-wide: 2010
Evidence on the origins and legitimacy of FANRPAN is detailed in the: (i) Report by Ministers of Agriculture of Eastern and Southern Africa, April 1994 and (ii) COMESA Official Gazette Vol. 1 No. 1, December 1994.

1. Preamble

Recalling that the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) for Africa is a autonomous, non-profit, scientific organization operational in Member States of Africa with a mandate to co-ordinate policy research and dialogue and recommend strategies for promoting food, agriculture and natural resources sectors in Africa by:
  • Carrying out mutually agreed collaborative research and institutional development activities;
  • Publishing and disseminating research results;
  • Providing technical support to national and regional programs;
  • Providing opportunities for training and professional development;
  • Organizing workshops, scientific conferences and seminars;
  • Providing access by the Government to database of information on policy making, advocacy and dialogue; and
  • Facilitating linkages of co-operating institutions with relating activities carried out by other participants in FANRPAN's policy research and professional development programmes.
2. Call by Ministers of Agriculture and Environment in Eastern and Southern Africa: 1994

On the 14th to the 15th of April 1994, the Ministers of Agriculture for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) met in Harare, Zimbabwe to develop a strategy and plan of action for promoting agriculture in the region. The report by the Ministers stipulates the following:
  1. Clause 2.10: A number of shortcomings currently inhibit the ability of ESA countries to address the poor performance of the sector. One important constraint is the general absence of comprehensive agricultural policies. Coupled with this constraint is inadequate capacity by most national and regional institutions in addressing agricultural policy and running effective farmer-support institutions, such as research, extension, credit, marketing and storage facilities.
  2. Clause 10.2: Time has come for Ministers of Agriculture to increase the debate and dialogue on a "co-ordinated regional agricultural policy" in ESA, or at least by sub-regions East and South. Existing regional institutions have pioneered regional cooperation in areas of food security, research, environment and land management, livestock production and disease control, fisheries, forestry and wildlife.
  3. Clause 10.3: That a Regional Agricultural Policy Analysis and Research Network be created in order to reduce dependence on foreign experts as ESA countries develop comprehensive agricultural policies and food security strategies. The network will also, in collaboration with regional universities, be responsible for research and analysis leading to the coordination of agricultural policies and strategies in ESA.

    ESA countries need to coordinate and rationalize investment policies so as to promote agribusiness development particularly in the areas of food processing. In addition efforts need to be intensified in rural agro-based industrial development to enhance value-added and creation of employment.
  4. Clause 11: Develop comprehensive and implementable agricultural policies which encompass the key prime movers of agricultural development;

    That a Regional Agricultural Policy Network be created to enhance indigenous capacity for policy formulation and analysis.

    That this Network assist the convening of the Conference of Ministers to review the progress in the implementation of agricultural sector policies and strategies.
3. Response by COMESA Secretariat: 1994

In December 1994, the then Secretary-General of COMESA, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika released the following declaration in the Official COMESA Gazette (Volume 1, Number 1, clause 23) published by the order of the COMESA Council:

Clause 23: Council adopted the following recommendation regarding food security in the region:
  1. The Annual Conference of Ministers of Agriculture for Eastern and Southern Africa (CMA-ESA) as constituted in a meeting on 14-15 April, 1994 in Harare, Zimbabwe, should be the Policy Organ for food security in the COMESA region.
  2. A permanent Food Security Technical Committee (FTSC) composed of technical experts from IGADD, COMESA and SADC should be formed to serve as the technical advisory body to the Conference of Ministers.
4. Response by the SADC Communities: 1997

For the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region, a consultative meeting was convened by the Food Security Technical and Administrative Unit (FSTAU), Southern African Centre for Cooperation in Agriculture and Natural Resources Research and Training (SACCAR) and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension at the University of Zimbabwe.

The Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension at the University of Zimbabwe then facilitated the launching of a regional Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) consortium and network for Southern Africa at a meeting held in July 1997. The participants at the launch were drawn from ministries of agriculture, farmers' organisations, research organisations and universities in the SADC region.

The policy consortium was established to build on a long-term investment and commitment already made in universities, national agricultural research institutes and policy analysis units in Southern Africa and to enable policy analysis units to collaborate more efficiently and service the policy makers and other stakeholders in the SADC region.

5. FANRPAN Registration: 2003

To give effect to the wishes and desires of the member states in the SADC region (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe), the various farmers' organisations, research institutions, departments of agricultural economics at universities, agricultural experts and academics, non-governmental and private sector organisations involved in agriculture, and other stakeholders, the following institutions collectively promoted the establishment of a network which was to be constituted as an independent universitas in terms of this Constitution. The original promoters of the Policy Network are:
  • Directorate of Research and Development, University of Botswana, Botswana.
  • Agriculture Policy Research Unit, University of Malawi, Malawi.
  • Department of Agricultural Economics, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique.
  • Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit, Namibia.
  • Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Economic and Social Research Foundation, Tanzania.
  • Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Zambia, Zambia.
  • Southern African Policy and Economic Series Trust, Zimbabwe.
  • Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Zimbabwe.
The Promoters of the Network further agreed on the following:
  1. The Network shall be known as the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network or in short, FANRPAN
  2. The registered office of the Network shall be situated at the offices of the SADC Food Security and Rural Development Hub at 12th Floor, Social Security Centre, Julius Nyerere Way and Second Street, Harare, Zimbabwe, or at such other address as the Network may, from time to time, decide.
  3. The registered office of the Network shall serve as the Headquarters of the Network and shall house the Secretariat of the Network.
  4. The Network shall be a distinct and separate legal entity and body corporate, with the power to acquire, hold and alienate property of any kind, and with the power to acquire rights and incur obligations, and having perpetual succession.
FANRPAN was registered on the 18th of March 2003 by the Zimbabwe Registrar of Welfare Organisations in March 2003; in compliance with sub-section 5 of section 9 of the Welfare Organizations Act.

6. Accreditation of FANRPAN Regional Secretariat by the Government of the Republic of South Africa: 2005

In 2005, the FANRPAN Regional Secretariat relocated from Zimbabwe to South Africa.
  1. In March 2006, the FANRPAN Secretariat signed a Host Agreement with the South African government which details that FANRPAN shall enjoy in the furtherance of its official functions treatment not less favorable than that accorded to other international organisations in the Country.
  2. FANRPAN shall enjoy, for its official communications, treatment not less favorable than that accorded by the Government to any other government, including the latter's diplomatic mission, in the matter of priorities, rates and taxes on mails, cables, telegrams, radiograms, telephotos, telephone, and other communication, and press rates for information to the press and radio.
  3. The Government shall accord to the Chief Executive Officer the same privileges and immunities, exemptions and facilities as diplomatic representatives at Missions.
7. FANRPAN Constitution and Strategic Plan: 2007

In 2005 FANRPAN embarked on a revitalization strategy which entailed consultations of stakeholders, revision of the Constitution and the development of a strategy and business plan.
  1. FANRPAN's 2007-2015 strategy is aligned with the time frame of the Millenium Develompent Goals (MDGs):
    1. Focus on three (3) strategic areas: Capacity Building, Policy Research and Policy Advocacy;
    2. Focus on four (4) programme areas: Food Systems, Agricultural Productivity - Markets, Natural Resources and Environment, Social Protection and Livelihoods;
    3. Organogram for the Network
    4. Business plan.
  2. Revisions to the constitution included amongst others the following:
    1. Annual General Meeting Vote: reduction of voting numbers from four (4) delegates to one (1) per country
    2. Board Membership: reserved seats for SADC and COMESA and donor representative
    3. Admission of additional Member Countries from the SADC region other than the original "Promoters"
    4. Change of physcial address of the Regional Secretariat
8. FANRPAN Goes Africa-wide: 2010

In 2010 at the FANRPAN Annual General Meeting in Namibia the Network members passed the following resolutions:
  1. That the constitution must be amended to reflect that FANRPAN draws its members from Africa and the Diaspora;
  2. That the two governmental seats on the Board must now be permanently held by Zimbabwe and South Africa, the two hosting member states, where the Network was registered and the current host of the Regional Secretariat respectively.
  3. The Research seats be reserved for Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research for Eastern and Southern Africa, (ASARECA) and the newly established Centre for Coordination Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA)
The amended constitution will be presented for adoption in September at the 2011 FANRPAN Annual General Meeting.

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