Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Information for Meeting Africa’s Agricultural Transformation and Food Security Goals (IMAAFS) Conference
Addis Ababa, UN Conference Centre, 1-3 October
Addis Ababa- 30 September 2014The African Union Commission and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission are organizing a scientific conference at the UN Conference Centre in Addis Ababa from 1 to 3 October which aims to widen the availability and use of evidence-based information for agricultural growth and improved food and nutrition security. With over 150 international participants, the event will bring together scientists and policy makers from a wide range of institutions and research organizations from Africa, Europe and the United States, as well as major UN agencies.
The agricultural sector in many African countries has been evolving rapidly in response to dynamic population growth and movements, and as a result of regional or national policies and more pronounced interventions by private and external actors.  Accurate, objective and timely information is needed by all parties involved in agriculture and development to address issues such as the early identification of risks and the assessment of the severity of emergencies, in order to better plan and monitor national/regional agriculture and trade policies and, ultimately, to reach the objectives of improved food security and sustainable agriculture.
2014 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), and in 2012 was declared by the African Heads of State and Government as the “Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa”. The IMAAFS Conference has set itself the goal of supporting and motivating continent-wide production, by gathering evidence that can inform Africa’s agricultural transformation towards improved food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. It offers three days of presentations, workshops, and side events, including various poster and media presentations.
The main technical topics will include, inter alia:
  • Assessment of current information systems (agricultural statistics, household surveys, market and price information systems);
  • How to use new Earth observation techniques and promote coordination among systems;
  • Managing climate-related risk
  • Linking information to decision-making and action.

The Conference will be opened by H.E. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, the Executive Secretary of UNECA Dr Carlos Lopes, and representatives of the European Commission, including the Head of the European Union Delegation to the African Union, Gary Quince.
Conference proceedings, to be prepared following the conference, will include concept notes, all presented papers, and a synthesis of findings and recommendations for specific actions.