Launch of the Europe-Africa consortium on research and innovation for the transformation of food systems (CEA FIRST)
- Posted by: Sandra Borma
- Category: News
A multi-stakeholder platform in Africa and Europe, aiming to innovate, inform, and improve practices, supporting the transition to more sustainable and resilient food systems.
CEA-FIRST began on 1 December 2023 and will run for 3 years. The project brings together 22 partners from Europe and Africa covering a wide range of expertise and stakeholders (research, NGOs, donors, extension workers, etc.) involved in the field of food and nutritional security and sustainable agriculture. CEA-FIRST will be launched in Accra (Ghana) from 12 to 15 February, bringing together partners from the European Union and the African Union.
As a part of the broader International Research Consortium (IRC) initiative, CEA-FIRST represents a true bi-continental Africa-Europe platform. It aims to eventually bring together private and public institutions (such as financial partners, research centers, and companies) and civil society members who contribute to research in food security and sustainable agriculture.
In the context of an essential transition in agri-food systems, compounded by the challenges of climate change and demographic shifts, the IRC is positioning itself as a vital tool for fostering an equitable and sustainable research and innovation partnership between Africa and Europe. This partnership focuses on bolstering agriculture as a key driver of economic development.
CEA FIRST is funded by the European Union as part of the Green Deal’s “From Farm to Fork” strategy (Horizon Europe budget envelope).
Its main objectives are as follows:
- Providing public access to an extensive platform of knowledge in food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.
- Developing a robust methodology for analyzing Research and Innovation (R&I) activities and priorities.
- Supporting the update of the AU-EU R&I partnership roadmap.
- Establishing operational and thematic research working groups.
- Facilitating connections between the IRC and the AU-EU high-level political dialogue.
COLEAD leads the CEA-FIRST working group which focuses on fostering linkages and multi-stakeholder engagement in programmes and initiatives related to food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. Concurrently, COLEAD will co-lead efforts to strengthen the link between research, innovation, and their practical application. Additional planned activities for the association include contributing to dissemination and communication strategies, managing and coordinating the project, and participating in working groups that involve funders of the overall AU-EU roadmap.
COLEAD’s comprehensive involvement in this significant project underscores its dedication to contributing to the success of such initiatives. These form a crucial part of the EU’s “Global Gateway” strategic vision, which aims to establish sustainable and reliable connections serving citizens and the planet. This vision addresses pressing global challenges, from combating climate change to enhancing the competitiveness and security of global supply chains, particularly in Africa.
|Participant organisation name
|FORUM FOR AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH IN AFRICA (FARA)
|CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN AGRONOMIC RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT (CIRAD)
|EUROPEAN ALLIANCE ON AGRICULTURAL KNOWLEDGE FOR
|STICHTING WAGENINGEN RESEARCH (WUR)
|AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH COUNCIL INSTITUTE FOR SOIL CLIMATE AND WATER (ARC)
|SVERIGES LANTBRUKSUNIVERSITET (SLU)
|HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO (UH)
|FOOD AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES POLICY ANALYSIS NETWORK (FANRPAN)
|REGIONAL UNIVERSITIES FORUM FOR CAPACITY BUILDING IN AGRICULTURE (RUFORUM)
|ASSOCIATION OF COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITIES (ACU)
|THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR
STRENGTHENING AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH IN EASTERN
AND CENTRAL AFRICA (ASARECA)
|COUNCIL FOR SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH (CSIR)
|NATIONAL RESEARCH AGENCY (ANR)
|NATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION (NRF)
|NATIONAL FUND FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION FOR DEVELOPMENT (FONRID)
|WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA COUNCIL FOR AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (CORAF)
|YOUNG PROFESSIONALS FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT (YPARD)
|ENTREPRENEURSHIP-AGRICULTURE-DEVELOPMENT LIAISON COMMITTEE (COLEAD)
|AFRICAN FORUM FOR AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY SERVICES (AFAAS)
|SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION FUNDING AUTHORITY (STDF