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Looking back into the future of agriculture in East Africa

Building evidence-base and multi-stakeholder engagement to inform policy processes on agriculture in East Africa

March 14, 2014

In November 2013, CTA supported partners in East African region - namely Kilimo Trust, the East African Community Secretariat and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) to organize an international symposium which looked at the lessons learned about agricultural policy-making in the region over the past 50 years, and prospects for the future.

Building evidence-base and multi-stakeholder engagement to inform policy processes on agriculture in East Africa

With the theme Agricultural Development: lessons from the past and prospects for the next 50 years, the Symposium brought together key stakeholders, experts and leaders from the EAC to critically assess what worked well; what did not work well and the lessons learned in agricultural development during the past 50 years. To provide articulated and evidence-based issues and lessons to support the debate at the symposium, about a dozen thematic papers were commissioned and prepared by leading experts. Technical experts from East Africa and beyond, including Dr Uma Lele World Bank development expert, contributed technical papers to the Symposium.

Dr Oluyede Ajayi, CTAs Senior Programme Coordinator served as a resource person to provide technical peer review to one of the thematic papers Policies, Institutional Framework and International Development Interventions in EAC commissioned by the organisers and was a technical discussant at the Symposium. He also delivered a speech on behalf of the Director of CTA during the opening session of the Symposium.

The Symposium was attended by several dignitaries including His Excellency, the Vice President of Republic of Uganda, Hon Edward Sekandi, Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Minister responsible for East African Affairs, Deputy Executive Secretary General, EAC Secretariat Mrs Edith Mwanhem Ministry of East African Affairs, Governor of Bank of Uganda, the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Representative of the African Development Bank, CEOs of private sector conglomerates among others.

From evidence-base to policy processes

Key lessons and recommendations for agriculture in east Africa were articulated by the technical symposium, the youth in agriculture workshop and the seminars were tabled at the High Level Executive Roundtable (HLER) attended by 63 delegates that included Ministers, Parliamentarians, Permanent Secretaries and CEOs from the private sector. The recommendations were discussed by HLER and key policy actions were identified.

  • The synthesis report from the HLER was submitted to the Sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for Agriculture and Food security in East Africa (SCAFS) and was discussed in their meeting in December 2013
  • The Council has requested for a full report of the symposium to be circulated to all ministers. The full report will be discussed during the Ministers meeting at the end of March 2014