CGIAR in Africa: Accelerating the delivery of science-based innovations for climate resilience across Africa through partnerships
CGIAR Initiative on Diversification in East and Southern Africa
- Impact Area
The inaugural session at the first-ever UNFCCC COP pavilion dedicated to food and agriculture featured CGIAR’s three Africa-based Regional Integrated Initiatives (RIIs) and their efforts in accelerating the delivery and scaling of science-based innovations for climate resilience across Africa. The session emphasized the vital role of partnerships and leveraging the most impactful scaling mechanisms that have already catalyzed systemic change in food systems transformation in Africa. It highlighted the need for these regional Initiatives to respond to the demand from a wide range of governance actors, ensure alignment with the continent’s regional and national priorities, and capitalize on the experience and achievements of previous CGIAR research programs.
The participants concluded that the African Initiatives come at an important moment, as “COP27 is the COP of Africa and the COP of Water and Agriculture,” stressed by the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation in Egypt, H.E. Hani Sewilam, and the continent spearheads the transformative process in addressing local, regional, and global climate problems through an integrated, multi-partnership approach, combining efforts of the governments, the private sector, and SMEs, and involving several CGIAR Centers.
CGIAR Regional Integrated Initiatives in Africa
The highest burden of climate change falls on the most vulnerable, impacting farms, businesses, value chains, and livelihoods. The CGIAR Initiatives prioritize solving the problems of the lack of diverse diets, access, interest, ownership, and the need to sustainably manage land, water, and energy and diversify, de-risk, empower, and engage. While global science Initiatives lead the production of technical and organizational climate solutions, the RIIs deploy and accelerate these solutions at scale. The combined efforts of global and regional Initiatives respond to regional, national, and local agrifood system crises by complementing the efforts of key stakeholders and mobilizing more than 2,000 organizations to achieve climate objectives. The RIIs present a rare opportunity to “plug into” long-established partnerships, ensuring coordination and coherence among the CGIAR Initiatives and interdisciplinary science groups.
The Africa-based CGIAR RIIs focus on scaling growth-responsive climate adaptation and mitigation solutions in the five regions in Africa: East and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa, and North Africa, with particular consideration to impacts on food system transformations, national and regional policies, finance, and resilience building—especially among vulnerable populations. The session’s presentations featured work carried out by CGIAR’s three Africa-based RIIs and the lessons learned in previous and existing accelerated delivery and scaling initiatives that aimed to strengthen climate resilience in vulnerable communities.
Presentations by CGIAR’s Africa-based RIIs:
- Ukama Ustawi: Diversification in East and Southern Africa (ESA)
- West and Central African Food Systems Transformation (WCA)
- Fragility to Resilience in Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA)
Panel discussion spotlights CGIAR RII partners
The panel discussion featured three African RII partners, their work, and their views on opportunities for alignment, coordination, and scaling to ensure demand-driven impact on the ground through collaborative partnerships across Africa. The work carried out by three RII partners included catalyzing policy action, building organizational and individual capabilities within regional, national, and local systems, and providing context-specific climate solutions to improve climate resilience in the continent.
- FANPRAN enables linkages between research to ensure the research results are translated into actionable evidence that can inform policy and governance
- The Shamba Shape Up TV effort accelerates the transformation of food, land, and water systems in the face of the climate crisis
- WE4F assists SMEs and agri-businesses to produce and scale out innovative climate solutions in the water, energy, and food nexus targeting smallholder farmers
During the session, participants discussed how the common aspiration for COP27 is to mark a turning point in climate change with renewed commitment and strengthened political will, drawing the global community together for concerted, collaborative, and impactful action to mitigate climate challenges in the shared interest of humanity and the planet. As Africa takes up the challenge to lead the rest of the world, an integrated, multi-partnership approach, collaborating across governments, development partners, research organizations, communities, farmers, and the private sector, will be critical for success. Moreover, to make Africa food secure, innovations in water, energy, and food systems need to be backed by science and policy driven.
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