Trade, Environment and sustainable NRM Africa accounts for just 2% of global trade volume. Most of this is from agricultural and natural resource products The near-stagnant productivity in Africa is a result of mining of soils forests and water resources Africas biodiversity is at great risk due to unsustainable harvesting practices and inadequate capacity to address the issue, both on farmland and in natural ecosystems The European Consensus Nov 2005 wants to Halt biodiversity loss and promote biosafety and sustainable management of biodiversity
Africas weak economy reflects largely… –stagnant agriculture – production, value adding, marketing…. –Ineffective agricultural infrastructure and institutions –Weak and ineffective investment in agricultural education, research and innovation –Unrealistic working conditions for the academia, resulting in crippling brain drain or malaise African universities teaching agric and NRM have up to 38% of national research capacity, but it is poorly used and targeted.African universities teaching agric and NRM have up to 38% of national research capacity, but it is poorly used and targeted.
Drying land: threat to livelihoods The hunger sweeping so many African countries is exacerbated by 4 main factors: a)climate change b)creeping land degradation and desertification, and c)inadequate risk mitigation strategies (e.g. lack of strategic food reserves) d)Declining farm labour (due to HIV prevalence and rural to urban migration)
Multi-dimensional aspects of Poverty Eradication Combating poverty will only be successful if equal importance is given to investing in people (first and foremost in health and education and HIV/AIDS, the protection of natural resources (like forests, water, marine resources and soil) to secure rural livelihoods, and investing in wealth creation - The European Consensus Nov 2005 Combating poverty will only be successful if equal importance is given to investing in people (first and foremost in health and education and HIV/AIDS, the protection of natural resources (like forests, water, marine resources and soil) to secure rural livelihoods, and investing in wealth creation - The European Consensus Nov 2005
Multi dimensional solutions Policy reforms Transformation of African institutions Human resource capacity to drive the change Partnerships and Links to sources of knowledge Human and institutional capacity are fundamental considerations for sustainability of any interventions
A multi-pronged transformation process Gap analysis and awareness creation Faculty attitudinal change Institutional resources and innovation Policy reviews Political commitment Improved learning Curricula changes Effective education & graduates Multi--Stakeholder participation (all levels)
Disturbing facts - agriculture Although women play a major role in agriculture, they constitute only 12-15% of college and university students in agric sciences The curricula and learning materials are generally focused on production only and are far removed from the context Agric graduates are trained to be employed, not to develop agric enterprises In many cases, the students did not select agric education in the first place Parents use scarce resources to educate children so that they can exit farming!
Investing in minds To stimulate a coherent and strategic approach through support to high-quality tertiary education capacity Understanding links: Agriculture, forestry and environment are very closely linked A life-long strategy for support to education, research, access to and transfer of knowledge - EU strategy for Africa Oct 2005
The big picture 1.Links between education and livelihoods are weak. The general public does not relate positively with Science and Technology. Until S &T actively improve and sustain livelihoods, this will not change. 2.Redeeming Africa from poverty, ignorance and disease requires more than science and specific technologies. Major forms of societal transformation are essential Investing effectively and efficiently in S &T for development is still largely unguided
The big picture.. 3.African content in existing science and technology is weak (innovations or adaptations) 4.Working institutions are needed, plus effective collaboration among institutions and countries is a necessity 5.Possession of natural resources is probably not as important as having the knowledge and skills and technologies to tap resources and convert them into assets for development
Thee case of Agricultural education The number of universities teaching agricultural sciences have increased substantially (87 in 2002) but funding has not kept up, resulting in: –Inadequate teaching and research resources –Low staff establishment levels and skewed age distribution (few young scientists) –Erosion of talent due to brain drain, exacerbated by HIV/AIDS –Teaching staff spread their efforts too thin on too many activities, some irrelevant to their mandates (Internal brain drain, in search of survival) –Inadequate facilities for practical training
Who are the future farmers of Africa? Currently, most rural youth end up as unskilled farmers or petty traders in agric products They are poorly prepared to apply life skills School programs can be improved to link better with rural life and communities Education policy change Training teachers Contextualized learning