About the Conference

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AKADEMIYA2063, in partnership with AUC, is convening a virtual 2021 ReSAKSS Annual Conference to promote review and dialogue on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on African food systems and policy options to ensure recovery and strengthen resilience to future shocks. The conference will take place virtually on 15–17 November 2021 under the theme of “Building resilient African food systems after COVID-19.”

About

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to health, economic and agrifood systems around the globe. In addition to the direct health effects of the pandemic and its cost in terms of human life, the crisis has caused serious disruptions to economies and food systems and has pushed millions of people into poverty and food insecurity.

Africa entered the crisis already facing high rates of poverty and hunger and high vulnerability due to relatively weak health system capacity and high exposure to world trade fluctuations. Building resilient African food systems is one of the seven commitments of the 2014 Malabo Declaration. However, much of the focus has been on resilience to present and future climate variabilities and shocks. COVID-19 has presented a uniquely wide-ranging shock affecting every country in the world and with repercussions across all economic sectors. It calls for a broad perspective on food systems resilience that takes into account implications for and actions by all food systems actors.

The 2021 ReSAKSS Annual Conference will bring together state and nonstate actors to deliberate on the key findings and policy recommendations of the ReSAKSS 2021 ATOR.  The report 1) assesses the impacts of COVID-19 on African economies and food systems, 2) examines African governments’ responses to the pandemic, including the expansion of social protection, 3) discusses measurement and methodological issues related to gauging countries’ vulnerability and resilience to crises, and 4) makes recommendations to ensure the recovery and resilience of African food systems. The report also reviews progress in CAADP implementation and examines the likely impacts of COVID-19 on the CAADP Results Framework indicators.

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Objectives

The objectives of the conference are to allow participants to:

1. Discuss the research evidence and recommendations presented in the 2021 ATOR on effects of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in African countries;

2. Examine methodological issues related to the assessment of the impacts of COVID-19 and the measurement of resilience capacities;

3. Identify required actions for effectively rebuilding Africa’s agrifood systems following the COVID-19 pandemic;

4. Assess progress in promoting mutual accountability through the CAADP Biennial Review (BR) process; and

5. Evaluate the status of CAADP implementation and progress toward achieving key goals and targets.

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Expected outcomes

Expected outcomes of the conference are:

1.Shared understanding of:

a.Required policies and actions to accelerate Africa’s recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future shocks;

b.Potential solutions to challenges related to measuring the impacts of and resilience to complex shocks;

c.Progress and required next steps in advancing the 2021 CAADP BR process;

d.Actions needed to fast-track the implementation of CAADP and ensure the achievement of its goals and objectives.

2.Shared lessons and experiences on:

a.Impacts of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and factors that could contribute to greater resilience to future shocks;

b.Promoting mutual accountability and ensuring that the BR process triggers required actions and policy change to advance the achievement of Malabo Declaration goals and targets.

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STRUCTURE

Day 1, Monday, November 15: The conference will be officially opened on Day 1 and will feature an overview presentation of the 2021 ATOR, a keynote presentation on impacts of and responses to COVID-19 in African countries, presentations of key chapters, and panel and plenary discussions on the conference theme.

Day 2, Tuesday, November 16: Day 2 will focus on presentations and panel and plenary discussions of the different chapters of the 2021 ATOR.

Day 3, Wednesday, November 17: Day 3 will conclude the conference with presentations and panel and plenary discussions on progress in achieving CAADP goals and targets and progress and next steps in the 2021 CAADP Biennial Review process.

Established in 2006 under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) supports efforts to promote evidence- and outcome-based policy planning and implementation. In particular, ReSAKSS provides data and related analytical and knowledge products to facilitate CAADP benchmarking, review, and mutual accountability processes.

As the main platform for monitoring CAADP implementation, ReSAKSS tracks progress of core CAADP indicators through an interactive website and a flagship Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR), the official CAADP monitoring and evaluation (M&E) report. In addition to tracking progress on CAADP core indicators, each year the ATOR presents analysis on a feature topic of strategic importance to the CAADP agenda. For more information about ReSAKSS, please visit: https://www.resakss.org/

Established in 2020, AKADEMIYA2063 is an Africa-based non-profit organization with headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda and a regional office in Dakar, Senegal. AKADEMIYA2063 leads the work of ReSAKSS in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), and leading regional economic communities (RECs). The mission of AKADEMIYA2063 is to provide data, policy analysis, and capacity strengthening support to enable African Union (AU) Member States to achieve economic transformation and shared prosperity in support of the AU’s Agenda 2063. For more information about AKADEMIYA2063, please visit: https://akademiya2063.org/

The African Union Commission (AUC)’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) leads efforts to promote sustainable environmental management and agricultural development by boosting African Union Member States’ rural economic development and agricultural transformation by supporting the adoption of measures, strategies, policies and programs on agriculture. Its mandate includes promoting the implementation of Agenda 2063 Continental Frameworks such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). For more information about AUC-DREA, please visit: https://au.int/en/rea