About AU SAFGRAD
The African Union Semi-arid Food Grain Research and Development (AU SAFGRAD) is one of the specialized technical offices of the African Union Commission (AUC) under its Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment (ARBE).
In Maputo 2003, the mandate of AU-SAFGRAD was to contribute to the achievement of agricultural research, technology transfer and marketing as well as natural resources management by facilitating and coordinating the use of the scientific talents of National agriculture Research Centers (NARCs), International Agriculture Research Centers( IARCs) and scientific and Research Organizations(SROs) to enhance food security, promote sustainable agriculture, development of irrigation agriculture both in rural and urban areas of the semi-arid zones of Africa.
The African Union Semi-Arid Food Grain Research and Development’s (AU-SAFGRAD’s) goal is to contribute to sustainable food security of smallholder agricultural producers and others chain actors in the semi-arid zone (SAZs) of Africa by helping build their resilience to crises and shocks.
The SAZs of Africa occupy a large area that spans from Senegal in West Africa through Tunisia in North Africa, Djibouti in East Africa to South Africa. These zones are among the most challenging areas of the world and will become even more so as a result of climate change. The SAZs of Africa are also vulnerable to conflicts arising partly from natural resource use com petitions and other socio-political causes.
The 2019 – 2023 Strategic and Operational Plan defines the vision, mandate and strategic objectives that AU-SAFGRAD intends to pursue over the next five years in support of ameliorating rural livelihoods in the SAZs of Africa. Specifically, the objective of the plan is to build resilience and enhance the livelihoods of smallholder agricultural producers and their communities in semi-arid zones of Africa. This is in response mainly to the changing development landscape and the evolving needs of semi-arid zones of Africa and is informed by lessons learnt from implementing the previous strategic plan as well as from a critical analysis of issues confronting semi-arid zones on the Continent.
AU/SAFGRAD’s mandate is defined in AU Assembly in 2003 (EX/CL/Dec.34 (III)) and elaborated in 2011 AU Summit (EX.CL/Dec 619(XVII)) as follows: “To lead, coordinate and facilitate the formulation of appropriate policies and programs that would build resilience of rural livelihoods in semi-arid Africa through strengthening of institutional capacities aimed at advancing agricultural research, technology transfer and adoption; enhancement of value chains; management of natural resources; and mitigation and adaptation to climate change and combating desertification as well as other related areas”
“Sustainable food security and improved rural livelihoods in semi-arid Africa”.
“To accelerate sustainable agricultural development and rural livelihoods in semi-arid Africa by building resilience of rural communities through working in partnership with African and global research and development organizations”.
AU SAFGRAD history could be devided into four main phases that are described below.
Management & Staff
Like the African Union Commission (AUC), the AU SAFGRAD staff is made up of African talents of diverse origin. It is about fifteen members including international professionals and local staff.
AU SAFGRAD Management
The attending institutions of the AU SAFGRAD 2021 Steering Committee meeting included: AU-HRST (Chair), AU-DARBE (former AU-DREA), AU-WGDD, AU-SEAFDF, AU-STRC, AU-IAPSC, COMESA, EAC, ECCAS – CEEAC, ECOWAS, IGAD, UMA, FARA, CCI-BF (BURKINA FASO), AU-SAFGRAD (Secretary).