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Capacity Audit on Continental Research and Training Responsiveness to Uncertainties in Food, Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture

 To alleviate food and nutrition challenges in Africa exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic and beyond, we need to strengthen capacities in the continent’s Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS). This will help to achieve the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), Science, and Technology Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024) targets. A critical step in this respect is the establishment and sustainable consolidation of Africa’s capacity needs in a process that ensures continuous assessment of needs and weaknesses. Capacity audits will help African Union (AU) Member States to manage tailor-made holistic capacity initiatives and mainstream science into national investment plans enabling them to address food and nutrition security beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic. Audits of skilled personnel and facilities needs be conducted in National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs), Universities, and other research organisations in Africa, which are tasked to generate solutions for improving nutrition and food security. Africa’s agri-competencies must be appropriately complemented and consolidated with matching of skills and facilities to meet the needs of the enterprises and labor markets. This would enable workers and enterprises to adjust to changes in technology and markets arising from shocks created by the present Pandemic, while anticipating and preparing for the skills needs of the future. Intelligence gathering through systematic capacity audit in training institutions, universities, Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVETs) and research institutions will lead to identification of gaps to address food and nutrition security resilience and create inclusive agri-competency poles for agribusiness development, while supporting national efforts for implementing realistic reforms and transformation in response to COVD-19.

 This work aims to identify research gaps and opportunities that will allow for the strengthening of the continent’s capacity to respond to current and future threats to food and nutrition security. This entails a systematic capacity audit that identifies gaps in the continent’s nutrition-sensitive Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) and institutions. The audit will outline opportunities that may be harnessed to strengthen the capacity for implementing realistic reforms predicated on the demands created by COVID-19 Pandemic, to drive inclusive and sustainable economic transformation during the time of the Pandemic and beyond.

The expected outcome can be summarised in the following table:

Summary of expected outcome

 SN  Intervention  Actions





Situational analysis report on Capacity Audit in Agriculture Food and Nutrition Security Education 

Capacity Audit in Universities and TVETs to identify training gaps to address Food and Nutrition Security:

  • Assess existing curricula and facilities in Universities and TVETs
  • Identify gaps in Curricula with respect to nutrition sensitive agriculture, ICT incorporation, eLearning and Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages and One Health.
  • Design strategies for addressing capacity gaps
  • Propose economically feasible, environmentally and socially acceptable recommendations for enhancing community engagement



Situational analysis report on Africa’s Research Capacity 

Capacity Audit in Universities and National Agricultural Research Systems to identify research gaps to address Food and Nutrition Security

  • Identify challenges in the promotion and characterization of underutilized/neglected traditional foods
  • Develop a food composition table for underutilized/neglected foods
  • Conduct economic and social appraisal of the selected foods
  • Assess existing laboratories and human capacity
  • Establish reference laboratories for food quality and safety
  • Identify missing links between communities and research on food and nutrition security
  • Review existing research agenda in various countries for food and nutrition security



Capacity Action Plan and Agri-competencies in the realm of STI   
  • Data from capacities audit in 1 and 2
  • Gather data on nutrition relevant human capital formation for updating e-capacities platform.
  • Develop and adopt systemic classification to accompany a knowledge-base on capacity in food and nutrition security
  • Recommend skills and competencies required at operational and field level to confront COVID-19 and other uncertainties.
  • Identify areas of intervention in policy at regional and country levels.



Agro- capacity building platform   Data from the capacities audit in 1 and 2 along with the capacity action plan (3) will be pooled to build a competency library for selected value chains, which will feed into the eCapacities™ platform 

 This capacity audit is led by Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) with the participation of several African institutions such as FARA, AU- IAPSC and supported by ASRIC under the ASRIC movement for Africa’s Development.  


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