Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Transforming Agricultural Development and Production in Africa: Closing Gender Gaps in Policy and Practice
Salzburg, Austria
13 November 2011 - 17 November 2011

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The Salzburg Global Seminar, in cooperation with the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development with support from the Belgian Fund for Food Security, is hosting a special "Dialogue for Action" to identify successful and innovative actions that accelerate rural agricultural development in Africa by empowering and investing in women.

Women are a critical force in agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and yet their central role in agricultural development and food security has been largely ignored, particularly in policy, until now. The global food crisis of 2007/8 brought to the fore the centrality of agriculture and the role of small holder agriculture in global food security. There are unprecedented opportunities for propelling the issue of rural women’s economic empowerment high on the international policy agenda and advancing the recognition of rural women’s role as agents of change and drivers of agriculture and food security. Broad consensus has emerged on the importance of focusing on and investing in rural women as development managers – no longer viewing them primarily as passive "aid recipients".

The Dialogue for Action seeks to seize this historical moment to help meet development challenges in Africa by identifying actions, initiatives and partnerships to strengthen women’s roles in rural agricultural development in SSA.

Specifically this meeting will:
  • Recognize and share concrete policies, programs and practices that enhance food security and have a positive impact on rural women's empowerment, and determine which of these approaches are ready to be scaled up
  • Identify strategic interventions and actions for increasing and improving agricultural production through rural women's empowerment and indicate areas where stronger leadership by key actors will be critical to overcome bottlenecks
  • Widen partnerships and shared commitment to joint actions among participants and identify accountability measures and incentives for monitoring implementation.
The Dialogue for Action will bring together influential government officials, private sector leaders and investors, and representatives from farmer organizations, rural women's groups, donors and multilateral institutions, to examine shared goals and strategic entry points for collaborations and common action.

While the meeting will engage influential peers in a highly interactive and outcome-oriented design, select speakers will be asked to help initiative different portions of the seminar. Confirmed speakers include Catherine Bertini, former Chief Executive, World Food Programme, and Makaziwe Mandela, Chair, Nozala Investments (Pty) Ltd. Please refer to the Salzburg Global Seminar website for updates.

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