Supranational collaboration in agricultural research in sub-saharan Africa

Johannes Roseboom,
conference working paper

This paper focuses on how supranational collaboration in agricultural research in Sub-Saharan Africa has evolved over the past 10 years. It focuses primarily on the various institutional developments, but also presents some quantitative data on investments in the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, the subregional organizations, and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Institutional reforms introduced in recent years (such as a programmatic approach at the SRO level, multi-donor trust funds, competitive grant mechanisms, and centers of excellence) are reviewed and assessed, and suggestions are made for further improvements. The principal conclusion is that the overall institutional architecture for supranational collaboration in agricultural research is now in place, and that for the coming years the focus should be more on mastering and further fine tuning the various internal decisionmaking and implementation processes. Despite all efforts to increase African ownership of the supranational agricultural research agenda, high donor dependency remains a factor that limits such ownership. The only way to change this is by introducing an African funding base for supranational agricultural research. Unfortunately very little progress has been made on this front to date.