The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (D/Ag) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (D/FAT) launched the Africa Agri-Food Development Fund (AADF) in April 2012 for a two-year pilot period to develop partnerships between the Irish agri-food sector and African countries. These partnerships aim to support sustainable growth of the local food industry in Africa, build markets for local produce and support mutual trade between Ireland and Africa. The Irish agri-food industry is expected to transfer knowledge and expertise to help meet Africa’s food needs as well as exploring opportunities for long-term investment and mutually beneficial trade. Both Departments committed €1 million each for the period 2012-2014, which will focus on East Africa during the pilot phase.
The AADF represents the coming together of different but complementary government strategies, in particular the Africa Strategy (DFAT) and Food Harvest 2020 (D/Ag), recognising that the skills and experience of the Irish Agri-Food industry can assist the development of the food industry in African countries. It is considered an innovative grant instrument to strengthen economic relations between Ireland and the African continent. As the pilot phase will expire at the end of 2014, it is appropriate to organise a seminar to exchange views on experiences so far and to discuss the way forward.
The main goal of the seminar is to facilitate a dialogue on the opportunities of public-private cooperation for food security, with particular focus on the AADF. The desired outcome of the seminar is to strengthen ownership of AADF across departments, generate shared knowledge on lessons learned so far and to inform the way forward after the AADF pilot period. The relevance of the seminar goes beyond the AADF alone, as the AADF provides a model for possible replication across other departments who hold responsibility for part of ODA budget and seek new partnerships with the private sector.
The seminar will provide an informal setting, to facilitate frank and constructive discussions, oriented to future actions and improvements of public-private cooperation for food security.
ECDPM’s Francesco Rampa and Jeske van Seters will moderate all sessions.