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AU-SAFGRAD’s study on strategic agricultural commodities value chains development in Africa: validation workshop held in Ouagadougou, 3-4 November 2015

AU-SAFGRAD’ study on strategic agricultural commodities value chains development in Africa

Overview:

Agricultural production remains the mainstay of most economies in Africa. The contribution of the sector to household and national food security, employment and overall economic growth cannot be overemphasized. In realization of this, the Heads of States and government of the African Union has committed to the Accelerated African Agricultural Growth and transformation (A3GT) for shared prosperity and improve livelihood, as the flagship for attaining peace prosperity and progress in the continent. Africa Union-SAFGRAD in realization of its mandate in strengthening livelihood resilience has in the last two years been actively involved in agricultural commodities values chain development. The focus of the study is to identify actors and activities along the supply chains that raise transaction costs and result to low competitive advantage of agricultural commodities in Africa, with focus on the semi-arid zones. Our choice of commodities for the study is on produce with high food security and livelihood potential in the Member State (MS).

While acknowledging the disincentive to intra-African trade posed by tariff and non-tariff barriers, however, the initial engagements should be to have a competitive product. The study approach is therefore, based on the assumption that competitive national products and emphasizing local-for-local production are pre-requisites for boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities towards achieving goal V of the Malabo declaration.

This study focused on some selected (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Sudan)MS in the Sahelo-Saharan zone (using the AU-MISAHEL structure) is the second of AU-SAFGRAD’s series of study on strategic commodities value chains development in Africa, the first study targeted MS in the IGAD region. Five national Consultants from the selected MS were engaged in July 2015 and participated in the methodology harmonization workshop held in Ouagadougou at study inception. The study relied on field level data collected from interviews and discussion sessions held with the primary stakeholders.

Analysis of chain actors’ strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) was done to identify the internal and external forces that impact on their activities. Also, attempt was made to analyze the gender relations of value adding activities, so as to highlight the power relations, along the maize and sorghum supply chain in each country.

The validation workshop is being held in Ouagadougou, 3-4 November 2015 with the presence of RECS (ECOWAS, IGAD, etc.), National Research Institutions (INERA), various International organizations (UNECA, FAO, IFDC, NEPAD, CORAF/WECARD...) and African Union Commission.

- Welcome Remarks (By Dr. Ahmed ELMEKASS, AU SAFGRAD Coordinator)

- Opening Statement ( By HEM Ambassaador of Chad Republik)

- Media (Article from l'OBSERVATEUR PAALGA, Daily Newspaper from Burkina Faso)

- Press Release

- Group Photo

 

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT: HEAD OF REGIONAL OFFICE, AFRICAN BIOSAFETY NETWORK OF EXPERTISE (ABNE) NO.VA/NPCA/22

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT: HEAD OF REGIONAL OFFICE, AFRICAN BIOSAFETY NETWORK OF EXPERTISE (ABNE) NO.VA/NPCA/22

The African Union (AU) established as a unique Pan African continental body, is charged with spearheading Africa’s rapid integration and sustainable development by promoting unity, solidarity, cohesion and cooperation among the peoples of Africa and African States as well as developing a new partnership worldwide. Its Headquarters is located in Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia.

 

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a programme of the African Union adopted in 2001 in Lusaka, Zambia, aimed primarily at poverty alleviation and promotion of economic growth and sustainable development in Africa. As a consequence of the integration of NEPAD into the structures and processes of the African Union, the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) has been established by the Decision of the 14th AU Assembly of February 2010 as the technical body of the African Union, in replacement of the NEPAD Secretariat.

 

The mandate of the NEPAD Agency is to:

i.Facilitate and coordinate the implementation of continental and regional priority programmes and projects;

ii.Mobilise resources and partners in support of the implementation of Africa’s priority programmes and projects;

iii.Conduct and coordinate research and knowledge management;

iv.Monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes and projects; and

v.Advocate on the AU and NEPAD vision, mission and core principles/values.

 

The offices of the NEPAD Agency are located in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

Based on the Host Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the African Union for NEPAD to serve as the interim AU Office Operating outside the African Union Headquarters, the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency invites applicants who are citizens of African Union Member States for the post of Head of Regional Office, African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE).


A.Post

Job Title:                  Head of Regional Office, African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE)

Position Level:        P5

Duty Station:           Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Supervisor:              Head, NEPAD Science, Technology and Innovation Hub (NSTIH)

 

B.KEY PERFORMANCE AREAS

Under the supervision of the Head of the Science, Technology and Innovation Hub (NSTIH) of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) or his/her delegate, the Head of Regional Office, African Biosafety Network of Expertise will work across multiple ABNE domains and will be responsible for the project management, program planning and coordination, prioritization, resource mobilization and financial management. S/he will be responsible for the oversight and reporting related to the day-to-day operation of ABNE Network activities in compliance with the NEPAD Agency policies and procedures. S/he will actively work and liaise with personnel from Michigan State University in implementation of the NEPAD/ABNE programme.

 

KEY PERFORMANCE AREAS

1.Provide overall leadership for the ABNE programme including strategic planning, priority setting, technical and programmatic direction to the ABNE network.

2.Plan and implement ABNE programmes and activities in collaboration with ABNE Principal Programme Officer and Programme Officers including training workshops, short courses, study tours, internships, and other programmes.

3.Provide leadership for resource mobilization to expand and sustain the activities of the ABNE network.

4.Diversify partnerships, mobilize African public and private resources, frame innovative financing mechanisms on the basis of potentially remunerated services.

5.Identify and hire suitable consultants to provide additional technical support to ABNE programmes.

6.Supervise and mentor technical and administrative staff of ABNE and conduct annual performance evaluation of the staff.

7.Lead the development of work plans and budgets for ABNE towards the implementation of activities and provide oversight for financial management.

8.Organize annual meetings of the ABNE Technical Advisory Committee and Management Committee for progress review and finalization of annual work plans and budgets.

9.Provide strategic guidance and technical oversight for ABNE publications, policy briefs, newsletters, outreach materials, and web portal.

10. Supervise monitoring, evaluation, and streamline ABNE activities and interface with other service providers and international partners.

11. Advocate, administer and further the vision, mission and objectives of NEPAD Agency ABNE programme across Africa.

12. Liaise with senior government officials in ABNE focus countries for biosafety policy advocacy.

13. Represent ABNE at the Africa-wide Biosafety coordination meeting and other regional and international fora related to biosafety and biotechnology.

14. Prepare and submit to granters annual comprehensive work plans, progress reports, financial and budgetary allocation reports.

15. Perform any other related duties as may be assigned.

 

C.Job requirements

Required Skills and Competencies

i.Excellent technical competence in project/programme management.

ii.Excellent skills in advocacy, resource mobilization and developing partnerships.

iii.Excellent planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation and reporting skills.

iv.Excellent oral, writing and editing skills.

v.High level of accuracy, attention to detail and thoroughness.

vi.Ability to work under minimal supervision, be proactive, initiative and with sound judgment.

vii.High level of integrity and accountability, flexible approaches to work coupled with enthusiasm, commitment and energetic.

viii. Ability to leverage limited resources and staff for maximum impact.

ix.Ability to perform multiple tasks and work under pressure with a wide range of individuals and institutions.

x.Creative thinking, problem solving, communication and interpersonal skills.

xi.Good organisation and time management skills.

xii.Maintain confidentiality at the highest level at all times.xiii. Sound analytical skills.

xiv. Ability to work in a multi-cultural and multi-national environment.

 

D.Education and Experience: Candidates must have a minimum of a Masters Degree in biological sciences. A relevant first level University degree with extensive experience and proven record in national, regional and international development institutions may be accepted in lieu of an advanced University degree. Agricultural Biotechnology related program/network management experience will be an advantage. Candidates must have at least seven (7) years of relevant post-qualification experience within public sector institutions or similar organizations nationally, regionally and / or internationally, of which at least three (3) years should be in a Management position.

E.Other relevant skills

i.Excellent working knowledge of computer applications (MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc).

ii.Working knowledge of policy analysis and development and programme and/or project management, implementation and monitoring.

iii.Technically competent, knowledgeable, with experience in development issues and administrative management.

F.Language requirement: Proficiency in one of the following African Union working languages is a requirement; English, French, Portuguese and Arabic. Knowledge of one or more of the other AU working languages would be an added advantage.

G.Age requirement: Candidates should preferably be between 35 and 50 years old.

H.Tenure of Appointment: The appointment will be made on an AU short-term contract for a period of one (1) year, of which the first three (3) months will be considered as a probationary period. This is renewable subject to performance and availability of funds.

I.Gender Mainstreaming: The NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency is an equal opportunity employer and qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

J.Applications should be forwarded utilizing ‘’Arial’’ font 11.5: To apply, please submit the following:

a.A motivation letter stating reasons for seeking employment with the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency.

b.A detailed and updated curriculum vitae (CV), not exceeding five (5) pages and indicating your nationality, age and gender.

c.Three (3) referees with good knowledge of the candidate’s work, furnishing full contact details, telephone, fax and e-mail addresses.

d.Certified copies of degrees and diplomas.

K.Remuneration: Indicative basic salary of US$54,059.00 per annum plus other entitlements e.g. Post Adjustment (55% of basic salary), Housing allowance ($23,846.40 per annum), gratuity (15% of gross salary) in conformity with the rules and procedures applicable to internationally recruited staff of the African Union.

L.Applications must be received not later than Monday, 02 November 2015 and should be addressed to:

Head of Human Resources

NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency

P O Box 1234; Halfway House; Midrand, 1685

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Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a vision and strategic framework for Africa’s renewal that is based on a shared understanding that it is imperative to eradicate poverty and position African countries on the road to sustained economic growth and development. NEPAD works closely with the African Union Commission (AUC), regional economic communities, national governments, research institutions and civil society organisations in its efforts to eradicate poverty in Africa whilst also voicing Africa´s concerns at the global level. For more information go to: www.nepad.org

 

Download here the announcement in PDF (English)

Download here the announcement in PDF (French)

Download here the announcement in PDF (Portuguese)

Download here the announcement in PDF (Arabic)

 

 

 

AUC HEAD OF SECURITY AND SAFETY SERVICES VISITED AU SAFGRAD OFFICE IN OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO

Press Release Nº299/2015

AUC HEAD OF SECURITY AND SAFETY SERVICES VISITED AU SAFGRAD OFFICE IN OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso - 19 October 2015. “It is the responsibility of African Union to protect its staff and their families wherever they work!” This was the unmistakable message passed by Mr. Gebre-Egziabher Mebratu, AUC Head of Security and Safety Services, who stayed in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 14 to 19 October 2015.


The purpose of this visit that happened only few weeks after the failure of a military coup in the country was “to assess the security and safety conditions on SAFGRAD and other AU offices located in Ouagadougou”. Mr. Gebre-Egziabher Mebratu, assisted by Mr. Kindi Yosef, Security Officer, held with Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS, AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, and his close collaborators, several work sessions before meeting with all the staff and visiting relevant Burkinabe high officials.

The AU SAFGRAD head of mission took the opportunity of these meetings to update his guests on the political situation of the country and the major security and safety risks on AU Offices and staff in Burkina Faso. He particularly recalled the main safety challenges faced by SAFGRAD Office and the staff during the traumatic moments of the military coup attempt last month. During the exchanges, Mr. Gebre-Egziabher raised many security and safety questions before providing general and precious advices and recommendations. “Despite recent unhappy events, Burkina Faso remains peaceful country. Nevertheless, one has to be vigilant. Security and safety measures need to be increased when necessary” he added while talking during a meeting with all the staff. He also confirmed that AUC is working on the increasing of the security and safety system for all its staff and entities regardless of their various locations.

During the mission, AUC Head of Security and Safety Services, paid visit to entities under AUC located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, including NEPAD ABNE and CIEFFA.

The 5-day mission afforded the AUC Security Head the opportunity to consult with key government Officials. With Mrs Ganou Diaby Kassamba Madina, General Director of Regional Cooperation of Burkina Faso, and Mr. Lazare Tarpaga, Head of National Police Force, Mr. Gebre-Egziabher notably discussed successfully the means of increasing the security and safety of AU staff and entities in Burkina Faso.

Download here the PR in PDF

Contact for more details:

Mr. Youssoupha MBENGUE, Information and Outreach Officer, AU SAFGRAD,

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COP 12 event calls for enhanced efforts towards the Great Green Wall initiative

AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION

Directorate of Information and Communication

 PRESS RELEASE Nº288/2015

 COP 12 event calls for enhanced efforts towards the Great Green Wall initiative

‘When Africa Calls, The World answers’

 

Ankara, Turkey 21 October 2015 -H.E. Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on Thursday 15 Oct 2015 called for “Scaling up Africa’s Great Green Wall for the Sahel and Sahara Initiative. This was during a side event organised within the margins of the Twelfth Conference of Parties of the UNCCD (COP12) which brought together a multitude of partners involved in implementing numerous initiatives in support of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative.

The event organised by the Africa Union Commission, UNCCD and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) was designed with the two-fold aim of sharing with the international community the results achieved so far under the Pan-African initiative, and sharing thoughts on the way forward.

H.E. Monique Barbut took the floor with a passionate appeal on the strategic importance of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative and her personal commitment to ensuring its success.

“My heart has always been on this initiative. The Great Green Wall is the modern world’s greatest endeavor that symbolizes man and nature coming together to overcome some of today’s most urgent challenges: climate change, food security, migration and, of course, land restoration.” She declared. “The Great Green Wall is  far more than simply growing trees, it  is about growing solutions and opportunities; growing resilience to climate change; growing ‘green’ jobs that provide a stable income for African women and youth; about growing food security where 20 million people in the Sahel still go to sleep hungry every night.”

Ms. Barbut committed the UNCCD to embarking on scaling up the Great Green Wall Initiative through partnership with the AUC and stakeholders involved in the cause.

 

AUC Senior Policy Officer for Forestry and Land, Mr. Dampha Almami welcomed the participants and presented a summary of the key achievements of the Initiative to date. And AUC Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative Coordinator, Dr. Elvis Paul Tangem pointed out that the initiative had become a global platform for combating land degradation and desertification. He reiterated the general call for a similar initiative in other regions of Africa and taking best practices to the Caribbean and Pacific regions, noting that, “the GGWSSI will play a central role in promoting Global Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

A panel question and answer session involving key players in the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative followed the opening session.

By the end of the meeting, the message was clear, “The potential that exists both at the local, national and regional levels needs to be tapped to develop Public and Private partnerships so that through Africa’s Great Green Wall  we can ‘grow a world wonder’ –that serves all humanity for generations to come.”

###

Download the Press Release in PDF here 

###

For more information contact:

Dr. Elvis Paul TANGEM

Coordinator, GGWSSI

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Almami Dampha

Sr. Policy Officer Forestry and Land, AUC

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Media Contact

Ms. Carol Jilombo, Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture; AUC; Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.

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For further information contact

Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. I Web Site: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

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AU SAFGRAD to attend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Inaugural Conference of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (5-9th October 2015)

AU SAFGRAD to attend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Inaugural Conference of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on   Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment, (5-9th October 2015)

A strong team comprised of Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS, Coordinator; Mr. Mamadou KOUTOU, Programme Officer; Dr. Agbonlahor MURE, Production and Marketing Officer, will represent AU SAFGRAD at Inaugural Conference of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on   Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment. The gathering will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 5th to 9th October 20015.

The overall objective of the Conference is to review relevant strategic goals, facilitate mutual accountability and Identify synergies, linkages and complementarities in on-going agriculture, rural development, water and environment related initiatives. Further the meeting will review the respective sector activities and their implications on the achievement of the overarching goals of the Africa Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation (3AGT) agenda for attaining food and nutrition security, reduce poverty, boost intra-African trade, and enhance resilience of production systems and livelihoods to Climate Change and related shocks.

 

More specifically, the Inaugural Conference of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment aims to attain the following objectives:

 

a.         To review and adopt the Rules of Procedure of the Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment;

 

b.         To facilitate broad-based consultation and dialogue among all relevant stakeholders on mutual accountability, mutual learning and biennial reporting on previous commitments;

 

c.         Consideration of various strategic documents related to Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment;

 

d.         To identify synergies, linkages and complementarities in on-going agriculture, rural development, water and environment initiatives and agree on areas of follow up actions at various levels; and

 

e.         To examine and internalize the strategic and operational modalities for coordination mechanisms between the relevant sector ministries at Member State level, which are also linked to those at REC level.

 

The African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government adopted the configuration of the Specialised Technical Committees (STCs) and the modalities of  their operationalization (Assembly/AU/Dec.227 (XII) and Decision Assembly/ AU/Dec.365 (XVII) in January 2009 and July 2011, respectively as Organs of the Union in accordance with Article 5 (1) (g) of the Constitutive Act. One of the Specialized Technical Committees recommended for establishment is the Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment.

 

 

 

HE Mrs Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union met with several key partners on the margins of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA

HE Mrs Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union met with several key partners in New York, USA.

The various meetings took place on 24 September 2015 on the margins of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA. HE the Commissioner discussed on issues of African Agriculture as well as Climate Change and Desertification in Africa. She met with the following principals:

- USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator with who she exchanged on the issue of support on Agriculture and Food Security in the context of Agenda 2063;

- President of AMCEN with who she discussed on state of prepareness ahead of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC);

- UNCCD Executive Secretary. Discussions were on joint efforts to combat desertification in Africa.

For more details, see AU press releases:

- AU Press Release # 247/2015;

- AU Press Release # 248/2015;

- AU Press Release # 249/2015.

 

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