A CIRAD-NEPAD* general cooperation agreement was signed on 16 November by Patrick Caron, CIRAD Director General in charge of Research and Strategy, and Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, NEPAD Secretary General, in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Agence française de développement.
In recent years, CIRAD and the NEPAD planning and coordination agency have establishedfruitful relations within the framework of the RuralStruc programme implemented by the World Bank, in which CIRAD is heavily involved. In particular, the programme contributed to the debate that gave rise to Rural Futures, a NEPAD initiative aiming to coordinate sectorial dynamics with a view to ensuring sustainable territorial development. "In terms of momentum, the agreement signed with CIRAD fits in well with our priorities for the next ten years", Mr Mayaki stresses. "And the Rural Futures programme is one of those priorities. "
CIRAD is also indirectly involved in implementing NEPAD's flagship programme, the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP, or PDDAA in French).CIRAD is a partner of African NARS and regional research platforms such as WECARD, which are players in the fourth pillar of the CAADP: agricultural research. More recently, through TEAM-Africa, CIRAD, along with Agreenium, has been involved in building higher agricultural education in Africa, a vital component in implementing the CAADP.
These joint interests are what prompted the two organizations to confirm their partnership so as to foster collaborative operations, and it was to this end that the general cooperation agreement was signed recently.
The priority fields of cooperation covered by the agreement are:
"CIRAD has always worked with African players on every level, " Pierre Fabre, Director of CIRAD's Environment and Societies Department. "With this agreement, it has taken a major step forward by placing itself at the service of pan-African political structures. "
This cooperation will take the form of joint studies and research, knowledge sharing and support of capacity building, public policy making and improved political dialogue. The first stage should be to strengthen mutual knowledge of the two organizations' activities through an exchange workshop, and to build collaboration on the development of the Rural Futures programme.
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