IITA and director generals/representatives of national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) in Africa held a meeting in Ibadan to seek ways to strengthen partnerships.
The meeting was held after the “Conceptualization Workshop on Engagement of Youth Entrepreneurship for Agricultural Transformation in Africa” in IITA Ibadan.
Eleven DGs or their representatives from 11 African countries attended the meeting.
The main objective of the meeting was to review IITA’s relationship with NARES partners and to find ways of strengthening and improving collaboration with a view to achieving more impact at the farm level through rapid dissemination and adoption of research innovations.
NARES partners recognized the contribution and support of IITA to the NARES systems over the years in terms of capacity building, development of scientific innovations, and improvement of rural livelihoods in Africa. However, they observed that this support declined at a point as a result of dwindling funds from CGIAR. To address these issues and foster stronger partnerships in the future, the NARES partners proposed recommendations that both IITA and they would work on to foster better relations.
They proposed that a meeting of an enlarged group of NARES DGs be held next year.
The meeting which was initiated by the Partnerships and Capacity Development Directorate under the leadership of Dr Kenton Dashiell had a mix of facilitation and short presentations, offering participants a conducive atmosphere to freely air their concerns and voice their opinions. Dr Alfred Dixon gave the opening remarks and a presentation on the objectives of the meeting. Mr Zoumana Bamba chaired the first session while Dr Victor Manyong chaired the second session. Mrs Hilde Koper gave a short presentation on Intellectual Property while Godwin Atser moderated the session.