SSA NGO Consortium visits Agricultural Research Council of South Africa in PretoriaIn the September issue of the newsletter we reported that GFAR Secretariat in partnership with Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), supported a group of NGOs to enable them establish a sub-Saharan Africa NGO consortium which was launched during FARA 3rd biennial General Assembly held in Entebbe, Uganda in June 2005. Since the Entebbe meeting, it has been a busy period for the Consortium.
SSA NGO Consortium visits Agricultural Research Council of South Africa in Pretoria

In October 2005, the management of the Consortium met with other FARA stakeholders including representatives from the Sub-regional organizations, the private sector, farmers, IITA to discuss the effective inclusion and participation of CSOs in ARD in the region at all levels. In April 2006 the Eastern and Southern Africa members of the Consortium met in Pretoria to develop methodology for case studies on multi-stakeholder partnerships; identify a number of proven technologies and innovations that will be documented for scaling up and out; and develop and design processes and tools for carrying out a typology/profiling exercise of NGOs. During the Pretoria meeting, members of the consortium met with Dr. Richard Mkandawire, Agriculture Liaison Officer of NEPAD, to discuss NGOs participation in NEPAD activities and programs. One potential area of collaboration identified was the NGOs participation on NEPAD Peer Review Committees. Participants also took some time to visit the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa based in Pretoria to discuss and explore possible collaboration between the Consortium and the ARC.

The Western and Central Africa working group of the Consortium is scheduled to meet at FARA office in Accra during 16-17 May 2006.

The Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) has recently requested GFAR Secretariat to support NGOs in the Asia Pacific region to also establish a regional consortium in order to facilitate effective CSOs participation in ARD in the region. The Secretariat will work with APAARI in coming months on this new initiative that will lead to a stronger and more effective partnership between NGOs and research institutions in the APAARI region.