AfricaSeeds and key stakeholders have come together in Abidjan to validate the project document on the next four years of the Seed Knowledge Gateway (SKG), an online platform on seed information for Africa.
AfricaSeeds has achieved a lot since the Inception Workshop of the Seed Gateway held last February in Akosombo, Ghana. The Inception Workshop set the bases for drafting a project document designed to guide the development of the online platform during the four following years.
During the opening address of the Validation Workshop held in Abidjan from 7 to 9 of August, 2019, AfricaSeeds’ Executive Director, Dr Kouame Miezan, charged participants: “your special expertise in various aspects of the planned SKG will help us enormously to finalize and validate the project document that will end up in shaping such an important tool for the transformation of African agriculture.”
During the Preparatory Phase, from September 2018 to the end of July 2019, a team of seed and IT experts, coordinated by the lead consultant Josiah Wobil, conducted a comprehensive series of participatory consultations of key stakeholders of the knowledge landscape of Africa. Special attention was paid to involve in the process national and regional experts in charge of data and knowledge management for their respective institution. The team subsequently conceived the project document, which outlines the creation and implementation of an online effective, user-friendly, sustainable information platform. The draft project document was discussed during the Validation Workshop.
Altogether, the Seed Knowledge Gateway is meant to become the one-stop-shop for information on the African seed sector, to address the huge problem of data and statistics insufficiency in seed sector development planning and implementation.
The main stakeholders on the SKG are envisaged to be National Governments and experts, development partners, and key continental or regional partners such as FARA, CORAF, IITA, NASC, COMESA, DSI-Burkina Faso and AFSTA.
The Validation Workshop, attended by 17 experts from various African countries, Ministries and International Organizations, met the main objective of securing validation of the SKG project document. Particularly, the Workshop participants succeeded in achieving consensus on the structure and content of the project document towards additional work by the consultants and complementary efforts by participants to achieve a finalized document.
With his intervention at the workshop, Dr Jonas Chianu of the African Development Bank, gave a boost to the validation process: “the importance of seed data and information in the realization of the goals of the Feed Africa Initiative of the Bank cannot be overstated; I encourage you to pursue the development of the SKG portal, as it will be significantly contributing to the compacts in the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) Program.”
Participants lauded the Swiss Development Cooperation for its support to the Preparatory Phase, as well as the key contribution from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria as well of Government of Côte d’Ivoire.
All participants urged continued support into the Main Phase, and appealed to all African Governments to show commitment by contributing adequate national resources to the proposed budget.
View pictures from the workshop here.