On 24 May, 2018, in Ouagadougou, Mr Jacob Ouedraogo, Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources Development of Burkina Faso, and Dr Kouame Miezan, Executive Director of AfricaSeeds, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to frame the collaboration between AfricaSeeds and Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso is a founding member of AfricaSeeds since 1998. The signing of the MoU is part of the initiatives spearheaded by AfricaSeeds’ management to remobilize Member States and revive their relationship with the panafrican institution. The aim is also to raise awareness on the fact that the focus of the relationship has shifted from a network function to a developmental perspective.

The AfricaSeeds delegation was composed by Dr Kouame Miezan and Ms Emilienne Guei, Gender Officer at AfricaSeeds. In his speech, Dr Miezan presented the mission and the role of AfricaSeeds in the promotion of sustainable seed sector development in Africa, within the framework of the African Seed and Biotechnology Program, the ASBP. Dr Miezan also stressed the importance of the MoU: it maps out precisely the areas of the collaboration between AfricaSeeds and the Ministry of Agriculture of Burkina Faso. It also establishes the modalities of their joint actions and the obligation that the parts may each shoulder towards the achievement of seed security in Burkina Faso and in Africa as a whole.

In his response, Mr Ouedraogo expressed his appreciation to AfricaSeeds for the collaboration initiated with his Ministry to stregthene seed sector development of Burkina Faso. He also highlighted the priority areas which should be addressed in the short and medium term. He expressed his wish for an exemplary and mutually profitable collaboration between AfricaSeeds and its Ministry. Finally, he assured the continental seed organization of continuous support from Burkina Faso.

A few months before, as part of this same endeavour, Mr Pascal Zongo, Director General of the Ministry’s Plant Production Department, was appointed by the Minister as AfricaSeeds’ National Focal Point,. The role is designed to ensure smooth communications between the Member State and AfricaSeeds.

Following the signing of the MoU, visits by the AfricaSeeds’ delegation were paid to the National Seed Service and the Seed Laboratory, as well as the National Seed Producers Association, organized by Mr Zongo.