On the sidelines of the African Green Revolution Forum Summit (AGRF), being held until 09 September 2022 in Kigali, Republic of Rwanda, His Excellency Mr. Yerlan Baidaulet, Director General of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), signed two important memoranda of understanding with two Institutions that are to support the Organization in its resolve to address the critical challenges African Member States are facing in terms of food security and agricultural development.
The first MoU was signed with Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an organization that seeks to transform African agriculture from a subsistence model to strong businesses that improve the livelihoods of the continent’s farming households. It was founded in 2006 as an Africa-based and -led organization to work within the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP), Africa’s policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity. At the signing ceremony, AGRA was represented by its President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, who concurred with the IOFS Director General on the symbology of the act for the fact that the MoU included a Plan of Action with result-oriented initiatives to be jointly implemented in common Member States at mutually agreed dates during the 5-year term of the agreement.
Prof. Adipala Ekwamu, the Executive Secretary of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), followed suit and firmed an MoU with the IOFS, which also included a Plan of Action with similar modality as of the one agreed with AGRA. It is to be remarked that Prof. Adipala deemed the signed MoU as the best tool to welcome the IOFS to Africa, as his Institution, established in 2004, as a consortium of 147 universities in Eastern, Central, Northern, Western & Southern Africa is mandated to oversee graduate training and networks of specialization in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), while closely working with the African Union for strengthening science, technology and innovation capacity in Africa, and having several unique features for building Africa’s innovation capacity and for engaging universities in development process and practice.
It should be mentioned here that the now close IOFS partner AGRA is among the key conveners of the annual AGRF, a gathering that has been bringing together for 11 years presidents, heads of state and government, ministers, scientists, farmers, private sector payers and members of the civil society to chart the way forward for African agriculture.