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FANRPAN presentation - Salzburg Global Seminar: Towards a "Green Revolution" in Africa
What FANRPAN's participation in the Salzburg Global Seminar means for FANRPAN and the future of agriculture development in Africa
April 2008
Lindiwe Majele Sibanda


Conference news
Day 2, 1 May 2008
Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda was invited to represent FANRPAN and to participate as one of Africa's eminent experts in the opening conference of the Salzburg Global Seminar: Towards a "Green Revolution" in Africa. She presented a paper and led a panel discussion on one of the main themes of the conference: Governance and Policy Processes. Other key themes identified for the purpose of the seminar were: Institutions and Innovations; Markets, Trade and Investment; Environmental Sustainability and Biodiversity; Equity, Rights and Empowerment; Responding to New Threats and Opportunities.

This initiative will take place through a series of linked events which include a follow up seminar, where Mr Sifiso Chikandi will represent FANRPAN, and regional consultations in Africa. The organizers are Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS), the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC). The purpose of the initiative is to enable proposals for a "Green Revolution" in sub-Saharan Africa to be tested and refined. Participants will seek to articulate a uniquely African approach to a new "green revolution"; will identify opportunities for strategic alliances and partnerships to advance African agricultural development within a broader development framework; and will create policy and practice recommendations and strategic action agendas focused on achieving the key goals of an African "green revolution".

FANRPAN's experience with policy processes in southern Africa, building strategic alliances and partnerships amongst stakeholders, and the challenges that face agriculture development in Africa were brought to bear in this important international forum which could affect the future of African agriculture development. Through her presentation as well as her interaction in the opening conference, Dr Sibanda consistently reminded participants of the importance of inclusive, people centred policy processes, advocated for the empowerment of civil society to participate in these processes and emphasised the importance of countries drawing on and investing in the expertise of their own policy analysis experts. She emphasised that these fundamentals have to be in place if Africa is to develop a conducive policy environment for its "green revolution". She also highlighted donor driven policy processes, limited government capacity, lack of focus on long term development solutions, as well as the lack of harmonisation of agriculture agendas in Africa as impediments to such a conducive policy environment. Drawing on lessons learned and successes achieved in FANRPAN, Dr Sibanda promoted investment in regional policy networks as the vehicle for effective policy development and good governance in Africa.

Investing in and strengthening regional policy networks across Africa are essential to developing the innovative policy processes and "new models" of good governance required to achieve a "green revolution". Within these networks, appropriate policies and governance systems can be crafted that will drive and sustain Africa's "green revolution". FANRPAN provides a model for such a regional policy network which ensures effective consultation and participation by all stakeholders, particularly women and other vulnerable groups; ensures that all stakeholders and particularly the vulnerable groups and ordinary citizens have a voice in policy processes; provides an approach to building capacity to use evidence and new knowledge in policy processes- building trust between government and civil society.

FANRPAN's participation in this Salzburg Global Seminar initiative will provide it with an opportunity to influence this process so that it strengthens and contributes to the development of what is already on the ground in Africa. Instead of developing yet another parallel process, which ultimately detracts from agricultural development, this initiative will have the opportunity to contribute to African regional networks, Africa's capacity for policy analysis and to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) which already provides a framework for agriculture renewal in Africa. With its regional networks FANRPAN will also be in a position to provide a platform for the multi-stakeholder dialogue in countries when the ideas and recommendations of this conference will be tested and refined over the course of 2008-2009.

To read more about this initiative, please visit the following websites:

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