AfricaSeeds is the agency of the African Union in charge since 2010 of the implementation of the African Seed and Biotechnology Programme (ASBP). AfricaSeeds’ vision is a seed-secure Africa enabled for building efficient and sustainable seed systems that will contribute towards the achievement of agriculture transformation, food and nutrition security as well as wealth creation in Africa.
Quality seeds play a critical role in building food and nutrition security. Therefore the serious inequities and challenges which have, for long, plagued Africa’s seed sector constitute huge barriers to the continental goals in agricultural development. The recognition by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union of the importance a healthy seed sector for the transformation and growth of African agriculture has led to the adoption of the African Seed and Biotechnology Program (ASBP) in 2007, the seed program of the African Union, which AfricaSeeds was mandated to coordinate.
AfricaSeeds is therefore an essential institution for the African Union insofar it can substantially contribute to the AU commitment of achieving food security by 2025. Specifically, AfricaSeeds will support agricultural transformation by contributing to the overall development effort of the seed sector, through partnerships and an integrated and coordinated approach for building efficient and sustainable seed systems in Africa.
AfricaSeeds is headed by the Executive Director, a chief executive with responsibility of providing leadership in all activities and functions of the organization. Its Governing Board, made up of outstanding contributors to the seed sector, is an overall oversight body of the Executive Director and the Agency that ensures harmonization and guidance on technical and policy issues and conformity to current norms in seed sector development.
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Following the outcome of the Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union held in Sirte (Libya) on 5 July 2005, a strategic plan was adopted: the African Seed and Biotechnology Program (ASBP). Supported by Member States, this Program provides an overall framework for the comprehensive development of the seed sector on the continent.
The Commission of the African Union qualifies AfricaSeeds as the institution best placed to coordinate and implement the ASBP. In July 2010, the Commission entrusts AfricaSeeds as the Agency mandated for the implementation of the Program. It is from then an intergovernmental seed organization with a continental mandate.
Thanks to the constant support of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, AfricaSeeds gradually develops. In November 2015, AfricaSeeds provides itself with a Governing Board. The latter defines its organizational strategy for the decade 2016-2025, the roadmap for AfricaSeeds’ contribution to the transformation of African agriculture.