The Semi-Arid Food Grain Research and Development (SAFGRAD) is one of the specialized technical offices of the Commission of the African Union under its Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture.

SAFGRAD mandate is to lead, coordinate and facilitate the formulation of appropriate policies and programmes that build resilience of rural livelihoods in semi-arid Africa through strengthening of institutional capacities aimed at advancing agricultural research, technology transfer and adoption; enhancement of value chains; management of natural resources; and mitigation and adaptation to climate change and combating desertification.

SAFGRAD vision falls within the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development (CAADP) framework which is at the heart of efforts by African governments to accelerate growth and eliminate poverty across the continent.

Over the last five years, AU-SAFGRAD programmes were guided by its Strategic Plan 2014-2017 that has come to expiration. In the light of both new emerging thematic priorities and changes occurring in the development agenda both at continental and international level, AU-SAFGRAD, after evaluating/assessing its previous strategic plan 2014-2017 and more importantly taking stock of both successes and weaknesses, has drafted a new plan that will guide its actions over the next five years.

The draft new SOP 2019-2023 will be scrutinized and validated by experts and policy makers coming from various national, regional, panafrican organizations. The validation workshop will be coupled with the meeting of AU SAFGRAD Steering committee. The two day gathering will be organized from 28 to 29 of August 2018 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.




AU-SAFGRAD has convened a regional validation workshop in ECCAS Region to provide actors and stakeholders the opportunity to consider and agree on selection criteria, analyze and select priority commodity value chains, based on agreed criteria, for regional endorsement.

The 2-day validation workshop was held from 31st July to 1st August 2018 at “Vallee des Princes Hotel”, in Douala, Cameroun. The meeting was facilitated by AU-SAFGRAD but ownership and advancement of outcome as a regional commitment rested with the ECCAS.

The opening ceremony was chaired by HE Cameroun Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Henri EYEBE AYISSI, with the presence of AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, Dr. Ahmed ELMEKASS, and ECCAS Head of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Abakar Mohammed, as well as representatives of Douala local administrative authorities.

The workshop was attended by RECs and their Member States’ focal persons who are experts in agriculture, agribusiness, agro-industrial development, trade and investments. Also, Continental and regional organizations, development partners, experts and stakeholders in agricultural commodity value chains development as well as agricultural trade experts in Africa were expected to attend the validation workshop. More concretely, almost all the countries of ECCAS were represented by two experts, one in the area of Agriculture and one in Trade sector. In addition IGAD and UMA regions sent representatives to the workshop.

In his important opening remarks, HE Cameroon Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said that “The agricultural sector offers a viable pathway that African countries can leverage upon to escape from excruciating poverty and hunger, curb illegal migration, improved livelihoods and spur industrialization and economic development. The sector also offers huge opportunities in enhancing cooperation, collaboration and partnership among African countries.” The Minister concluded his remarks by declaring: “Enhancing the competiveness of agricultural commodities and products through regional value chains development will provide the needed impetus for Agribusiness growth and agro-industrial development in the Continent. It is expected that this will expand job and wealth creation as well as accelerate improved livelihood in the Continent.”

Prior to the Minister remarks, Dr. Ahmed ELMEKASS, AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, in his statements recalled that Africa Union through the Malabo 2014 commitments has defined the immediate future of African economies around agriculture as the main force in the social and economic transformation of the continent. “The development goals set in the Agenda 2063 and the SDG 2030 also recognizes the key role of agriculture in the transformation drive of African economies” added AU SAFGRAD head office.

The aim of the workshop was to validate regional selection criteria and prioritize agricultural commodities value chains for regional ownership and domestication.

More specifically, after two days intensive works, the meeting has reached important outcomes. Information on status and criteria use in the selection of MS prioritized value chain for the region was documented. Also the experts agreed and endorsed criteria for prioritizing ECCAS regional value chains. The regional priority commodities were documented and finally the workshop agreed strategic approach in constituting commodities committees.


Group Picture following the opening ceremony


 HE Cameroun Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Henri EYEBE AYISSI chairing the Opening Ceremony , with the presence of AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, Dr. Ahmed ELMEKASS, and ECCAS Head of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr.  Abakar Mohammed, as well as representatives of Douala local administrative authorities.


 AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, Dr. Ahmed ELMEKASS, pronouncing his statement at the Opening


 ECCAS Head of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr.  Abakar Mohammed, welcoming the participants 


 Massive presence of the Media


Dr Mure Agbonlanor, AU SAFGRAD senior Officer, talking to the Media


A view of the participants during a  session of the workshop


 One of the banners of the event hanged at the main entrance of the workshop venue


In collaboration with Arab League (AFTAAC) and the Regional Training Sector for Water Resources and Irrigation (RTSWRI), AU SAFAGRAD organized a nine (9) - day training in Cairo, Egypt, from 8th to 16th July 2018.

This 2018 training session targeted early and mid-career public sector (NARIs and Ministries of Agriculture, Water and Environment) irrigation professionals from twenty-five (25) AU Member States (AUMS). The trainees received intensive lectures on irrigation and related issues from eminent professors. They did also very interesting field visits to some irrigation schemes in Egypt, a country well known for its expertise in Irrigation and water resources sector.

The theme « efficient irrigation technologies for building small holders’ resilience in dryland agriculture » was conceived to accelerate the actualization of the Malabo goal of doubling productivity through irrigation agriculture intensification. The fully residential training programme adopted a combination of class-room and field practical approaches.  

 The focus of the training workshop was to:

  1. build capacity of young professionals (engineers, practitioners and administrators) in the areas of designing and managing small water and cost-efficient irrigation facilities;
  1. update participants knowledge on management, operations and coordination of Water Users Organization (WUO); 
  1. improve performance of small irrigation schemes in Africa through participatory planning, infrastructure operation and maintenance (O&M) for effective water use in relation to water scarcity and productivity, prevention or mitigation of environmental problems (e.g. salinity, water quality) associated with irrigation agriculture as well as related governance issues critical to scheme operation.

The closing ceremony of the training course was organized on July 14, 2018 with the presence of H.E. Dr. Ragab Abdelazeem, deputy minister, ministry of water resources and irrigation of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Dr. Ahmed Elmekass, Coordinator of AU-SAFGRAD. Also attended H.E Ambassador Abdoulaziz Buhedma, director of Arab Fund for Technical Assistance to the African Countries (AFTAAC), H.E. Ambassador Abdul Hamid Bouzaher, Head of permanent AU mission to the Arabic League, Ms. Sherine Imam, 1st Counsellor, operation department, representing the Arab Fund for Technical Assistance to the African Countries (AFTAAC) and Dr. Mamdouh Antar, the undersecretary for regional water cooperation, Head of the Regional Training Sector for Water Resources and Irrigation, Ministry of Water Resources and irrigation of Egypt.

During the closing ceremony official Speech and statements have been delivered to the attendees by the Officials. A vote of thanks has been delivered by a representative of the trainees. This was followed by the award of the certificates to the participants. To conclude the ceremony a group photo was taken and a nice cocktail offered. 

AFTAAC 2018 D Dr Mure Agbonlahor, AU SAFGRAD Sr Officer, during his presentation to the trainees


 Group Picture of the participants at the beguning of the course


Closing Award Coordo Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS, AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, giving a certificate to a trainee

Closing Pres

 The presidium during the closing ceremony with notably  H.E. Dr. Ragab Abdelazeem, deputy minister, ministry of water resources and irrigation of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Dr. Ahmed Elmekass, Coordinator of AU-SAFGRAD


A delegation of the Pan-African Intergovernmental Agency Water & Sanitation for Africa (WSA), conducted by Dr Hobah Pierre Rogoto, Chief Executive Secretary, visited AU SAFGRAD

On Wednesday, 4th July 2018, AU-SAFGRAD has received the visit of Dr Hobah Pierre Rogoto, Chief Executive Secretary of the Pan-African Intergovernmental Agency Water & Sanitation for Africa. Dr Rogoto was accompanied by Mr Sawadogo Karim, Diplomatic Adviser and Mrs Koala, Communication Officer.

The purpose of the visit was to share the information on the current activities and achievements in both organizations as well as the step forward for joint collaboration based on the MOU signed in 2015.

The Coordinator of AU-SAFGRAD and his team composed of Dr Mure Agbonlahor, production and Marketing Officer, Mr Youssoupha Mbengue, Information & Outreach Officer and Mrs Sayah Eleonore, Secretary, received WSA Head and his team and both delegations exchanged the information on the different activities and achievements as well as the current strategic plans.

The two delegations agreed to be in close contact in the future and update each other on the achievements. Moreover, both parties agreed to find out areas of joint collaborations for better achievement and help African Member States.


AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, Dr. Ahmed ELMEKASS, greeting Dr Hobah Pierre Rogoto, Chief Executive Secretary of WSA, Following their meeting.



African Union SAFGRAD, in collaboration with ECCWLM Division of AUC Department of Rural economy and Agriculture and other partners (FAO and IUCN notably) is organizing a LDN workshop for African countries, which will take place from 9th to 10th May 2018 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.  

- Objectives of the workshop 

The training workshop intend to achieve the followings objectives:

1.Provide participants with more understanding of the LDN concept, and build their capacities on how to define National targets that embrace all rural development sectors

2.Familiarize participants with LDN implementation approach at national level, including the development of transformative projects and programmes

3.Facilitate the strengthening of existing platforms or assess the need for the establishment of platform for experience sharing and collaboration on the implementation on LDN among countries,

4.Increase participants knowledge on how LDN can contribute in the achievement of global Sustainable development targets including AGENDA 2063, SDGs, Paris Agreement and others

5.Provide overview on identifying LDN investment and financing opportunities to link LDN targets setting with LDN implementation including LDN Fund, GCF, Adaptation Fund and other innovative sources of funding.

- Expected outcomes 

The followings outcomes are expected from the workshop: 

1. The participants are familiarized with LDN concept and are able to use the UNCCD technical guide on LDN target setting to set voluntary LDN targets,

2. A networking platform for experience sharing on LDN implementation are assessed

3. The participants grasp knowledge on the LDN Fund and other relevant financing opportunities (e.g. GEF, GCF, and Adaptation Fund) especially at the national level through enhanced synergies with existing projects and programmes.

- Structure of the training workshop

The workshop will run for two (2) days.

The first day will be dedicated to enhancing participants understanding of the LDN conceptual framework and its key elements. Participants will share their country experiences in the implementation of LDN through country presentations. The presentations are expected to address LDN status including implementation progress and challenges faced. Participants will discuss the presentations with the view to identifying elements that could contribute to optimizing LDN implementation outcomes.


Day two (2) will be essentially devoted to re-enforcing participants knowledge and skills on the application of the scientific conceptual framework for LDN at the country level. Prentations and discussions will address methodological approaches for target setting and implementing LDN with the aim of enhancing participants knowledge and skills for achieving inclusive LDN outcomes that integrate water, agriculture, livestock, forestry and rural infrastructure.

- Date and venue of the workshop

The workshop will be held in Burkina Faso from 9-10 May 2018.

- Partners 

AU-SAFGRAD will be partnering with AUC headquarters, IUCN and GM/UNCCD to organize this training workshop.

 - Facilitation

One or Two Experts from UNCCD institutions (Secretariat and the GM) will invited to facilitate the workshop supported by Experts from the organizing institutions.


Service de Consultation pour élaborer un Plan Stratégique et Opérationnel au profit de l’UA-SAFGRAD

1.            Contexte

Le bureau de recherche et développement sur les céréales vivrières en zone semi-arides (SAFGRAD) est l'un des bureaux techniques spécialisés de la Commission de l'Union Africaine relevant de son Département de l'économie rurale et de l'agriculture.

A Maputo 2003, le mandat de l'UA-SAFGRAD était de contribuer à la recherche agricole, au transfert de technologie et au marketing ainsi qu'à la gestion des ressources naturelles tout en facilitant et en coordonnant l'utilisation des talents scientifiques des centres nationaux de recherche agricole (NARS) , les centres internationaux de recherche agricole (CIRA) et les organismes de recherche scientifique (OAR) pour renforcer la sécurité alimentaire, promouvoir une agriculture durable, développer l'agriculture irriguée dans les zones rurales et urbaines des zones semi-arides d'Afrique.

En outre, pour répondre à la demande de la Conférence des ministres africains de l'agriculture (mentionnée ci-dessus), l'UA-SAFGRAD a élaboré son nouveau plan stratégique 2014-2017 et a élaboré son mandat comme suit:

«Diriger, coordonner et faciliter la formulation de politiques appropriées. et des programmes qui renforceraient la résilience des moyens de subsistance ruraux en Afrique semi-aride grâce au renforcement des capacités institutionnelles visant à faire progresser la recherche agricole, le transfert de technologie et l'adoption; le renforcement des chaînes de valeur; gestion des ressources naturelles; et atténuation et adaptation au changement climatique et lutte contre la désertification"

A la lumière des nouvelles priorités thématiques émergentes et des changements intervenus dans le programme de développement au niveau continental et international, l'UA-SAFGRAD prévoit d'évaluer son plan stratégique précédent 2014-2017 et, plus important encore, de faire le bilan des succès et les faiblesses pour élaborer un nouveau plan qui guidera ses actions au cours des cinq prochaines années .

UA-SAFGRAD invite les candidats à postuler pour deux (02) postes de consultance, a savoir:

1- Le premier qui servira de consultant et dirigera l'équipe pour la coordination générale et harmonisation de la tâche;

2- Qui servira de consultant pour travailler en étroite collaboration avec le chef d'équipe dans l'exécution de tous les travaux.


2. Qualification et Expérience Professionnelle

Les (02) consultants doivent posséder:

  • Au moins un diplôme universitaire de niveau Master dans un domaine lié à la planification de programme ou à une autre discipline similaire
  • Au moins 10 ans d'expérience professionnelle pertinente en planification stratégique et en développement
  • Excellentes capacités en analyses
  • Bonne capacité de rédactionnelle en anglais et /ou en français
  • Expérience pertinente dans des missions similaires
  • Excellentes compétences organisationnelle et de communication, capacité de prioriser et de travailler avec un minimum de supervision
  • Bonne compréhension des programmes de développement continentaux et internationaux en l’occurrence l'Agenda 2063 de la Commission de l'Union africaine et les Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD) des Nations Unies à utiliser comme documents de référence.

3.Resultat attendu de la consultation

Les deux (02) consultants seront appelés à élaborer le plan stratégique et opérationnel de l'UA-SAFGRAD. Le plan stratégique et opérationnel doit aborder la situation des défis des moyens de subsistance ruraux des terres arides dans le contexte du programme de développement continental et international. Ils devraient tirer expérience des meilleures pratiques dans ce domaine.

Sur la base de ce qui précède, les deux (02) consultants prépareront et compléteront le plan stratégique et le plan d'action. Cela impliquera, entre autres choses:

i. Évaluer le plan stratégique 2014-2017 de l'UA-SAFAGRAD

Les deux (02) consultants doivent d'abord présenter une analyse et une évaluation approfondie du plan stratégique précédent. Cela nécessitera des consultations avec le personnel interne et les intervenants externes qui ont participé à la mise en œuvre des programmes prévus.

ii. Élaborer le nouveau plan stratégique et opérationnel pour veiller à ce que les actions et les programmes du Bureau soient stratégiques et adaptés aux besoins des États membres. Le plan doit aligner toutes les activités du bureau sur l'agenda 2063, la déclaration de Malabo de 2014 et les autres décisions et recommandations pertinentes des chefs d'État et de gouvernement. Le plan sera focalisé de facon non exhaustive sur ce qui suit:

  • Une analyse situationnelle des zones semi arides d'Afrique
  • Principaux problèmes affectant l'agriculture et les moyens de subsistance ruraux dans les zones sèches
  • Domaines d'intervention prioritaires, objectifs stratégiques, programmes et activités
  • Cadres politiques, approches et plans de mise en œuvre actuels pertinents
  • Analyse des parties prenantes
  • Estimation des coûts pour la mise en œuvre du Plan stratégique et recommandations de moyens de mobilisation des ressources
  • Cadre logique pour la mise en œuvre du plan stratégique
  • Délai pour mise en œuvre des différents programmes

iii.          Les consultants devront planifier des réunions au niveau de la Commission de l'Union africaine dans le cadre du processus de consultation et de finalisation du plan.

4. Delivrables

Un document bien rédigé traitant de toutes les tâches énumérées dans la portée du travail dans une séquence logique déterminée par les consultants. Le document doit être soumis par le chef d'équipe dans un format électronique approprié et une coupe papier

5. Soumission des Rapports

Les délivrables relevant des Termes de Reference, à l'exception de la présentation à l'atelier des experts doivent être achevées dans un délai de 8 semaines à compter de la date des signatures apposées sur le document du contrat. (Le rapport de démarrage, y compris la méthodologie, doit être soumis dans un délai d'une semaine à compter de la date des signatures apposées sur la lettre de contrat et le projet de rapport doit être soumis cinq semaines après le rapport initial). Le rapport final doit être soumis au coordinateur de l'UA-SAFGRAD par voie électronique (Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. ) dans un délai de deux semaines après la tenue de l'atelier des experts. Une copie papier doit être envoyée à AU-SAFGRAD 01 BP 1783 Ouagadougou 01 Burkina Faso. Tel: 226 25306071, Fax: 226 25311586.

6. Rémunération

Le consultant qui sert de chef d'équipe recevra des honoraires de 14 000 dollars Américains (USD 14 000) et le second consultant recevra des honoraires de 12 000 dollars Américains (USD12 000). Le paiement sera effectué en trois tranches comme suit: 30% après la présentation du rapport initial et approuvé par le Coordonnateur de l'UA-SAFGRAD, 40% après soumission du projet de rapport et approuvé par le Coordonnateur de l'UA-SAFGRAD et 30% après soumission du rapport final et approuvé par le Coordonnateur de l'UA-SAFGRAD. L'UA-SAFGRAD paiera également pour toute mission ou réunion (billet économique et DSA) qui peut être requise et autorisée par AU-SAFGRAD.

7. Candidature

Les potentiels consultants sont invités à manifester leur intérêt et à envoyer leur CV au plus tard le 18/04/2018 en contactant le Bureau de l'AU SAFGRAD à l'adresse suivante:

261, rue de la culture BP 1783, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

E-mail: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. Tel: +22625306071

Si elle est livrée par courrier, l'enveloppe doit porter clairement le titre de la mission.

Seuls les consultants présélectionnés seront contactés.




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