Exploring new Canadian collaborations in Africa

21 May, 2015 by (comments)

To say that the Canadians are familiar with beans is an understatement.

The Canadian government, through its former international development agency, CIDA, has supported CIATs bean research in Africa for several years.

It is a successful collaboration that is hoped to continue. CIAT and the newly formed Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development (DFATD) are currently in discussions to extend support of the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) for the next five years.

Discussions are also ongoing for the development of a regional South-South collaborative project on forages with Embrapa in Brazil and national research institutions in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Mozambique.

But, despite clear synergies in CIAT research and DFATD areas of interest, the Canadians weren’t so familiar with the centre’s other research in Africa. Until now.

On Tuesday 19 May 2015 CIAT staff in Nairobi welcomed Simon Snoxell and Susan Learoyd from DFATD’s Pan Africa Regional Program in Ethiopia and Kenya respectively, to find out more about its soils, forages and policy research.

DFATD groupFollowing presentations about CIAT Africa in general and the three research streams by Boaz Waswa, Leigh Winowiecki, An Notenbaert and Evan Girvetz, Simon Snoxell explained changes to Canadian international development support since the creation of DFATD in 2013. He highlighted that Canadian support now focuses on three themes – sustainable economic growth; food security; and children and youth (including nutrition), themes which complement much of CIATs work in the region.

DFATD is keen on strengthening public-private sector participation in these areas and is exploring best models to make this happen. For example, how can Canadian organisations with expertise contribute to support the region? Which other sectors could be of value for collaboration? What incentives would make it possible for more Canadian private sector engagement in research and development in Africa?

Overall, DFATD team was very positive about CIATs work in the region and looks forward to continued collaboration.



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Filed Under: Inside Africa, Inside CIAT