African Science Academy Development Initiative: Prioritizing Food Security Policies For Health and Development in Africa
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Click here to see the agenda for Thursday, November 16.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Conference Objectives
  • Foster exchange of ideas on how the science academies might be used to support policymaking
  • Provide participants with opportunities to network and develop/strengthen relationships (e.g., among policymakers and representatives of science academies, among representatives of science academies from different countries)
  • Provide relevant input/insight for participants' work and interests
  • Deepen participants' understanding of the process of evidence-based policymaking
8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Late Registration (Registration on arrival on November 14, 2006)
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Session I: Opening ceremony
Session Facilitator: Vincent P.K. Titanji, InterAcademy Advisory Panel

Session Objectives: To welcome conference participants and open the conference. To provide an overview of the major food security policy issues in Africa and the major policy frameworks relevant to food security, such as the Millennium Development Goals, the World Food Summit, African Regional Nutrition Strategy, and NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme.

5 min remarks
Chair: Cameroon Policymaker - TBD (5 min)

10 min remarks
Welcoming remarks:

Overview of Key Policy Issues in Food Security in Africa
25 minute presentation
Keynote Speaker 1:
  • Dr. Isatou Jallow, Chief, Gender, Mother and Child Health Service, Policy Strategy and Programme Support Division, UN World Food Programme, Rome

15 min Questions for Keynote Speaker

5 min remarks
Protocol officer from the Secretariat/MINRESI
  • TBD

10 min remarks
High-level Representative of the Republic of Cameroon
  • TBD
10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. TEA/COFFEE BREAK
Press Conference
10:30 a.m. - 12:50 p.m. Session II: Methodology for Providing Evidence-Based Policy Advice and Case Studies

Session Objectives: To provide concrete examples (from the US and from Cameroon) of formal, structured processes in which the best scientific evidence was used to inform a controversial food security policy. For US government representatives who have requested assistance from the US Academy to share why they requested the study and how they used the input. For committee members and academy staff who participated in the study to describe the process and outcomes of the analysis.

5 min remarks
Session Chair:

  • Fame Ndongo Jacaque, Cameroon Minister of Higher Education

20 min presentations
Case Study from Cameroon: Informing Policies to Iodize Salt
  • Professor Daniel N. Lantum, Former Head, Dept of Public Health, Fac Med Biom Sciences, University of Yaoundé I; ICCID Regional Coordinator for Africa - Fortification

Policy maker speaker
Perspectives on Selected National Academies Reports on Food Security Issues

20 min presentations
Speaker 1:

Speaker 2:
Food policy research in the U.S. government
  • Susan Offutt, Administrator, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Speaker 3:
Food policy research in the U.S. government: A legislative branch perspective
  • Mr. Henry Moore, Senior Managing Director, Public Law & Policy Strategies Group, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP and Former Staff Director, House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee

30 min Discussion
12:50 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Lunch: African Academies and Policymakers (by invitation)
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Session III: Roundtable Discussion: A Critical Review of the Food Security Policymaking Process in Africa: What are the Patterns of Decision Making and What are the Possible Points of Entry for African Science Academies?
Session Objectives: To facilitate discussion among science academy leaders and policymakers on the key policy questions of food security in Africa and the possible points of entry for African science academies to inform these questions. To identify mutual needs of policymakers and academies such that a more productive bridge can be built between the two communities.

Presentation followed by discussion
Session Co-Chair 1:

Session Co-Chair 2:
  • Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, Professor of Health Service and Public Policy, New York University, Fmr. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, US Department of Health and Human Services


90 minute roudtable discussion
  • All policymakers invited by academies

Discussion Questions:
What does your experience tell you about the feasibility of evidence-based advice in your country?

What are the factors that support and the factors that constrain your ability to use evidence-based advice?

How do social, electoral, ethical, cultural factors influence policy making?

How should science be effectively packaged so that policymakers can use it?
3:30 p.m. - 4:00p.m. TEA/COFFEE BREAK
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Session IV: Controversies and Solutions: The Role of Science Academies in Informing Food Security Policy-making in Africa
Session IV (Part 1-5) Objectives: To highlight current controversial areas in public policy where the rigor of an academy's advisory processes should add unique value for decision making across a variety of areas related to food security, nutrition, agricultural productivity, resource management, markets, and trade. To demonstrate through discussion and examples the multidisciplinary nature of these controversies and the reasons why science academies, through their ability to convene a nation's leading scientists from across disciplines, can yield advice that is uniquely credible to support national policy development.

Part 1: Nutrition and Health: A Focus on HIV

Session Chair:

20 min speaker
Nutrition and HIV

  • Dr. Mary Shawa, Permanent Secretary, Nutrition and HIV/AIDS, Office of the President, Government of Malawi

15 min Q&A
30 min general discussion
5:30 p.m. Adjourn
Thursday, November 16, 2006
8:30 a.m. - 9:54 a.m. Session IV: Opportunities for Science Academies to Inform Food Security Policymaking in Africa
Part 2: Agricultural Productivity: A Focus on Biotechnology and African Agriculture

Session Chair:
  • Professor Yaye Kane Gassama Dia, Minister of Health and Medical Prevention Senegal

20 min presentations
Biotechnology and African Agriculture

Policymaker speaker:
Strategic approach of a biotechnology for agricultural production and development in Africa
  • Dr. Samuel Nzietchueng, Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation, Cameroon; Member, NEPAD/AU High-Level Panel on Agricultural Biotechnology

30 min discussion
9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Part 3: Agricultural and Natural Resource Management: Keys to Sustainable Agricultural Production

Session Chair:
  • Professor Patrick Ngoddy, University of Nigeria

20 min presentations
The critical role of water management in the socio-economic development of Cameroon
  • Professor Mathias Fonteh, University of Dschang (invited)

Policy maker speaker:

30 minutes discussion
11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. TEA/COFFEE BREAK
11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Part 4: Food Emergencies and Safety Net Programs

Session Chair:

20 min presentations Speaker:
  • TBD

Policy maker speaker
Community based safety-nets and strategies to reduce vulnerability to drought, crop losses and market crises

30 min discussion
12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Lunch break: African Academies and Policymakers
1:45 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. Session V: Opportunities for Academies to Inform Policies that Strengthen the Capacity of Food Security Institutions
Session Objectives: To illustrate how science academies might inform policies to strengthen the education, research, training, extension, and technology commercialization functions of food security institutions.

Session Chair:

10 min presentations Potential Contribution of Academies of Science to Building African Capacity for Food Security Policy Research, Formulation and Implementation
  • Willas Oluoch-Kosura, Director of the Collaborative Master of Science. Programme in Agricultural and Applied Economics in Eastern and Southern Africa (CMAAE).
  • Professor Adipala Ekwamu, Coordinator for Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe (RUFORUM)
  • Dr. Catherine Woteki, Former Under Secretary of Food Safety, USDA; Former Acting Under Secretary, Research Education, and Economics, USDA; M&M Mars Company
  • Dr. Joseph K. Mukiibi, Director General (retired), National Agricultural Research Organization, Kampala.

20 min discussion
2:50 p.m. - 3:05 p.m.Evaluation
3:05 p.m. - 3:35 p.m. TEA/COFFEE BREAK
3:35 p.m. - 4:40 p.m. Session VI: Roundtable Discussion with Science Academy Leaders and Policymakers
Session Objectives: To illustrate the value of academies in helping government to prioritize interventions and investments across sectors (e.g., education, health, agriculture, infrastructure, investment in export crops vs. subsistence crops, smallholder agricultural production vs. industry) to optimize food security outcomes.

Session Co-Chair 1:
  • Dr. Mary Shawa, Permanent Secretary, Nutrition and HIV/AIDS, Office of the President, Government of Malawi

Session Co-Chair 2:

1hr and 5 min facilitated discussion

Roundtable Disscuasants:
  • Invited African policymakers
4:40 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Session VII: Closing Session
Session Chair:
  • Mme. Madeleine Tchuente, Cameroon Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation


Highlights of the Meeting - Conference Report (In English, and French)
  • Member of the Senegalese Delegation - TBD

5 min presentations President of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences

Representative of the US National Academies
  • Dr. Enriqueta Bond, President, Burroughs-Wellcome Fund and Chair, Board of African Science Academy Development Initiative

Representative of the Academy of Science and Technology of Senegal: Announcement of Conference Theme for 2007
  • TBD

Minister for Scientific Research and Innovation, Cameroon

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