Despite a long-standing collaboration between Africa and Europe on research and innovation (R&I) in agri-food systems, investments have been fragmented across small projects, leaving gaps in funding, knowledge exchange, and capacity development efforts. The focus on climate change adaptation is also relatively new. Cecilia D’Alessandro and Hanne Knaepen provide an overview of the state-of-play of adaptation-related R&I in agri-food systems and outline three conditions to achieve tangible success for all.
Research and innovation (R&I) is a notable area of collaboration in the Africa-EU partnership. In June, two high-level events spotlighted the continents’ collaboration on R&I: the African Union (AU)-European Union (EU) Innovation Festival (Cape Town, June 15) and the AU-EU Agriculture Ministerial Conference (Rome, June 30).
While the two continents have a long-standing collaboration on R&I in agri-food systems, investments have so far been fragmented across many small projects, and several gaps persist in terms of funding, knowledge exchange and capacity development efforts. Also, the focus on climate change adaptation is still relatively new, but it is increasingly gaining importance.
This brief provides an overview of the state-of-play of adaptation-related R&I in agri-food systems and outlines three conditions for the R&I agenda to achieve tangible success for all:
strengthen outreach and uptake of R&I activities through multistakeholder approaches;
increase adaptation funding for Africa and better track climate-related R&I finance; and
clearly articulate the interests of both continents and their institutions, based on shared priorities and responding to local needs.