A report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies provides an overview of agricultural science cooperation within the African research system; the university system; and the role of partnerships with the private sector.
The report identifies four key approaches:
Focus on Problems. Achieving results will require serious focus. Focus on the most real and serious problems in African agriculture and attack them in a coordinated way in local settings. Ultimately it will be up to African partner countries to set, through consultation, their respective development and research agendas. Encouraging partners to formulate and articulate national research priorities will help guide U.S.-African partnerships and lead to greater coordination and synergies across multiple actors and institutions.
Prioritize Individual Capacities to Improve Institutions. The individual researcher is still the bedrock for strong scientific advancement and institutional capacity. Although improving individual capacity is not the only way to strengthen institutions, it is vital to building capacity for the long term.
Foster Collaboration within National Scientific Community. There are significant benefits of scientists working together—on a problem, in a laboratory, and in a way that encourages lasting communication.
Promote Institutional Coordination and Communication. It is vitally important for scientific research in Africa to be more coordinated—for goals and strategies to be set at the national level, and for all levels of research centers, universities, and partnerships to support these goals. It cannot be underestimated how crucial the role of good governance and leadership will be in promoting coordination, supporting innovation, and attracting essential private-sector investment