KCOA-KHEA Spreads its wings to Madagascar.

BvAT delegation of the Executive Director Dr. David Amudavi, Mr. Alex Mutungi of EOA Continental Secretariat and Ms. Venancia Wambua, EOA-I Project Manager was in Addis Ababa Ethiopia to sign a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) and the Africa Union Commission (AUC).  

The MOU officially formalizes the collaboration between the two organizations in managing and hosting of the EOA Initiative Continental Secretariat.  

The signing ceremony took place at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, 20th July 2022 and was officiated by Amb. Josefa Sacko, the Commissioner for DREA 

The move comes after 10 years of BvAT coordinating the implementation of the EOA Initiative in the continent. The initiative has been implemented in Africa since 2012 from initial six countries to the current nine that includes Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania in eastern Africa and Nigeria, Mali, Benin, and Senegal in the west Africa. The initiative strives to mainstream Ecological Organic Agriculture into national agricultural production systems, plans and policies which is in line with the African Union Heads of State and Government decision on organic farming EX.CL/631(XVIII). 

The MoU is a formal mechanism of fostering strategic partnerships and alliances with BvAT as well as a gesture of commitment to mutual accountability to shared goals and interests towards the realization of aspirations of AU Agenda 2063 on inclusive growth and sustainable development. Hence, the MOU is a recognition of the catalytic, complementary, and empowering role that BvAT will continue to play in the implementation of 2014 Malabo Declaration through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) framework for action on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods and other related programmes. 

In her remarks during the signing ceremony, H.E Amb. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for DARBE applauded Biovision Africa Trust for sspearheading the implementation of the Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) initiative, which she said has a special niche in the production of healthy foods for the people and for protecting the environment.  She further called for more advocacy on the promotion of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides that should result to industrial-scale production to enable the shift away from conventional fertilizers and pesticides. 

Dr. David Amudavi, representing Biovision Africa Trust, expressed his gratitude and commitment that BvAT shall implement its functions in the MoU that include hosting of the EOA Initiative Continental Secretariat and ensuring its functioning. BvAT is currently the host to the Continental Secretariat of the AU led EOA Initiative which provides guidance and oversight on the implementation and reporting of EOA in Africa as guided by the AU Decision on organic farming (Doc. EX.CL/631 (XVIII) through its AU chaired Continental Steering Committee (CSC). BvAT was endorsed by the AU to strengthen existing cooperation and collaboration of the parties in the implementation of decisions of the STC on ARDWE in Ecological Organic Agriculture in Africa and to spear head awareness of the EOA initiative in Africa among African Union Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other AU organs. 

Mr Alex Mutungi, the EOA Initiative Continental Secretariat Coordinator briefed the Commissioner on the recent developments within the EOA sub sector noting that the Secretariat is undertaking a pilot study of EOA indicators in the five political regions of Africa for possible inclusion in the CAADP BR reporting framework. He further noted that a Farmer Managed Seed Systems (FMSS) cluster had been established within the AU led African Seed and Biotechnology Partnership Platform (ASBPP) to champion for farmer seeds. 

While concluding the ceremony, H.E Amb. Josefa Sacko retaliated the commitment of DARBE to working closely with Biovision Africa Trust to ensure resilience in Africa’s agriculture sector to respond adequately to various shocks on   African Food Systems. “We need to align our work to the African Common Position that was presented at the UN Food System Summit in 2021 and to the existing African Union Agriculture transformation frameworks such as the CAADP, for us to be able to achieve agriculture transformation and growth for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods for our people.she stated. 

Prepared by Pamella Magino