Compiled and filed by Frederick Acquah
23 August 2017, Accra, Ghana. The African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN) and Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) have signed an MoU to cement the long standing partnership to support and accelerate the commercialisation of technologies emanating from scientific research.
The partnership will see AAIN and ASARECA develop a commercialisation strategy of the profiled technologies by ASARECA.
By using incubation and start-ups, SMEs will have access to the technologies and the support needed to move the technologies to the market to impact on jobs, wealth creation and on food and nutritional security. The partnership is a critical contribution towards the realization of the Science Agenda for Africa (S3A) Food and Nutritional security and creating attractive jobs for the youth in the food value chains.
The partnership and collaboration will focus on developing innovations for agribusiness incubation, start-up and commercialization for inclusive growth through the development and implementation of programs that enhance knowledge, information, and best practice in Africa.
It will also leverage and enhance the options for international as well as intra-continental cooperation and resource mobilization to support research and agricultural knowledge management, contribute towards policy advocacy in harnessing current and emerging food and nutrition security challenges into opportunities for pro-poor investments for inclusive growth in Africa.
Back row from Left to Right – Esther Aba Eshun, (CClear Incubator), Ralph Von Kaufmann (AAIN Associate Consultant), Dr. Cyprian Ebong, (Interim Executive Secretary ASARECA), Dr. Alex Ariho (AAIN Chief Executive Officer), Haidar Malhas (Interplast) Mr. Mark Etsibah (Director, Finance), Mr. Peter Kuria Githinji (Director of Business Development and Partnerships) and Ingrid Epezagne (AAIN Youth Rep Ivory Coast/Founder CAYF).
Front row-Mr. Joshua Nii Moi Thompson (Data and Communications), Mawuko Fumey (AAIN Associate), Kofi Adin (Accounts Manager) and Mable Quarshie (Aquatic World Industries, Director) Photo Credit: Mr. Frederick Acquah
At a technical level, the AAIN and ASARECA partnership aims to enhance cooperation between both institutions on key thematic areas of common concerns and interest; focusing on packaging innovations for incubation and incubation processes. This will also focus on the human and institutional capacity building and development of both organizations through partnership, cooperation and exchange of information.
The partnership will also focus on the brokerage of knowledge and dialogue on regional platforms for science, technology and innovation (STI), economic policies as well as market development in Africa in a manner that complements the S3A under the auspices of FARA and sub-regional organizations. This will be supported through the collaboration in joint preparation and implementation of agricultural research for development (AR4D) programs of mutual interests for the overall development of Africa focused technology testing, and incubation for commercialization.
Along with the core mandates, this partnership will contribute to the institutional strengthening of African regional organizations on incubation, in the context of regional integration, trade and policy frameworks and processes. It will also leverage the knowledge and information management on a range of activities and especially on agribusiness and agribusiness incubation, policy backstopping, insights and foresights with regards to the targeted value chain of crops and livestock.
Importantly, the partnership will train and build capacity in entrepreneurship, intellectual property rights, and foresight studies, among others. This will form part of the joint action in the areas of common interest and with potential to transform the agricultural landscape, leveraging resources from both the public and private sources.
Above: Dr Alex Ariho, CEO (AAIN) and Dr Cyprian Ebong (Interim Executive Secretary ASARECA) exchanging the MoU at the AAIN Secretariat, Accra Ghana.
Dr Cyprian Ebong “The partnership is an important ingredient for ASARECA to fulfil its mission of catalyzing the National Agricultural Research and Innovations Systems (NAIRS) in the Eastern and Central African sub-region to innovate for agricultural transformation and inclusive growth.”
Dr Alex Ariho “This is as testament and commitment to the change the world and Africa wants to see. We are breaking the barriers of scientific research allowing the high quality innovations and technologies to contribute in transforming society, creating jobs and feeding the masses sustainably.”
Download press release here ASARECA_and_AAIN_Pen_an_MOU