Leadership development to build food security for Africa

Posted on July 14, 2011

The University of Pretoria (UP) has recently had the privilege of contributing directly to supporting leadership development for Africa’s food security. UP partnered with Africa Lead and Continuing Education at UP in the training of 125 participants drawn from government, the private sector, civil society, farmers’ organisations and academic/research institutes from nine SADC countries (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia).

The USAID funded Scaling Up Food Security Champions for Change Programme supports the Africa Union/NEPAD Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and the United States Feed the Future Initiative. The programme set out to scale up the capacity to take the lead in a country-led review of current policies and programmes and the design and implementation of national agriculture and food security investment plans.

Prof Sheryl Hendriks (Food Security: Department of Agricultural Economics, Rural Development and Agricultural Extension), Prof André Louw (Chair of Agribusiness: Department of Agricultural Economics, Rural Development and Agricultural Extension) and Susan Engelbrecht (Department of Marketing and Communication Management) pooled their respective expertise, experience and skills to facilitate the five learning modules. The experience was most gratifying and provided a highly appreciated and valuable opportunity for investing in national stakeholder capacity. At the same time, the UP colleagues gained deeper insight into the policy and programme processes in these countries, the constraints faced and had the opportunity to facilitate practical problem solving. The team looks forward to nurturing the network built and exploring further opportunities to support national processes.

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