Agricultural Acumen: Calestous Juma (right), and Greg Durham in Tanzania.
Courtesy of Greg Durham
"A New Report: Agriculture is Key to African Economic Development"
Author: Sharon Wilke, Associate Director of Communications
African countries must increase their focus on promoting regional economic integration as a way to stimulate economic growth and expand local agricultural markets, according to an upcoming report by the Belfer Center's Agricultural Innovation in Africa project. Scheduled for release in summer 2010, the report is authored by Calestous Juma, professor of the practice of economic development and principal investigator of the agricultural innovation project.
Juma recently returned from Tanzania, where he and Project Coordinator Greg Durham joined the project's international advisory panel in meetings with Ambassador Juma Mwapachu and other senior officials from the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat. The advisory panel, a group of 10 experts in agriculture and related fields, discussed with the EAC the draft study titled The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, which positions agriculture at the center of efforts to spur economic development. Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the project seeks to disseminate policy-relevant information on how to align science and technology missions with regional agricultural development goals--all with the larger goal of promoting regional economic integration and development.
The draft report notes that regional cooperation is underutilized in Africa and recommends that African nations intensify efforts to use regional groups, such as Regional Economic Communities, as agents of innovation and modernization and give them a stronger role in promoting agricultural development.
"This report is guided by the view that agricultural innovation will increasingly be the engine of social and economic development in Africa," Juma said.
For more information about this publication please contact the Belfer Center Communications Office at 617-495-9858.
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