ReSAKSS Conference, 1-3 September 2015

The ReSAKSS 2015 Annual Conference, facilitated by IFPRI, was held on 1-3 September in Addis Ababa. This year, entitled “Beyond a middle income Africa”, focused on transforming African economies and how this growth can be sustained. The Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) program was established in 2006 under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) to support efforts to promote evidence- and outcome-based policy planning and implementation.  In particular, ReSAKSS provides data and related analytical and knowledge products to facilitate benchmarking, review and mutual learning processes.

During the plenary session, Ousmane Badiane, Director for Africa, IFPRI/USA, provided a graphic overview of the trends and outlook seen in Africa, as covered in this year’s report.  The 2014 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) provides details of the trend data for key CAADP indicators.  At the end of his insightful presentation, Dr. Badiane referred to the theme of next year’s ReSAKSS conference which will focus on nutrition.

During one of the side events, ESSP’s Dr Kalle Hirvonen and Mawuli Sablah from FAO, reviewed how CAADP has impacted nutrition through its inclusion in the CAADP framework, although continued to underline a need for “mainstreaming nutrition”. In particular, Sablah stressed the importance of engaging in a multi-sectorial, integrated way to address nutritional issues across Africa. He remarked that nutrition has been sidestepped for far too long with the attention paid mostly to production.

To further highlight how critical the issue of nutrition is to Africa’s economy, Hirvonen quoted Horton and Steckel’s estimate that Africa loses 11% Gross National Product each year due to poor nutrition and noted the political commitments to nutrition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and now the CAADP incorporating nutrition indicators into its framework. However, he commented that if business continues as usual without major political drive to address diet and nutrition, a shift is unlikely to happen. For further details of this presentation click here.

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For further details about the many topics covered in the conference, visit ReSAKSS Annual Conference 2015.

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ReSAKSS is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Fun for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands (MFAN). Earlier, ReSAKSS also received funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).