BASIC: Building Africa's Scientific and Institutional Capacity in Agriculture and Natural Resources Education uri icon


  • From 23-25 November 2005, FARA convened a meeting of key agricultural networks involved in capacity building in Africa. This was done as part of the process of developing the FARA-led programme for Building Africa's Scientific and Institutional Capacity (BASIC). The goal was to achieve harmony and complementarity among the different capacity building initiatives, projects and networks. The meeting was hosted by ANAFE at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi. BASIC is aimed at strengthening Africa's ability to build capacity with special emphasis on undergraduate programmes in agriculture and natural resources. It is responding to major weaknesses in agricultural education programmes that affect the quality and relevance of agricultural graduates and impede the development of Africa's predominant industry. BASIC will restore the capacity of African universities in the delivery of high quality and relevant agricultural education that prepares competent graduates for rural development and endogenous scientific and technological innovations. BASIC is a medium-term programme to which various components that address priority needs will be progressively attached. African universities will set the priorities and agenda and as far as possible assist one another. Additional resources for developing teaching and training approaches, methods and tools may be drawn (as needed) from non-African partners in conjunction with ICRA, NATURA and NASULGC among others. Up-to-date and locally relevant course materials will be developed in collaboration with the Training Community of Practice of CGIAR centres and National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs). The BASIC initiative is reaching out to the many already existing networks and scientific associations involved in building capacity in agriculture and naturalresources management in Africa. The purpose is to ensure that current experiences are taken into account and used in further development of the BASIC programme, and that the collaborative advantages of the various networks and associations are fully exploited, especially to fill gaps, minimize conflicts, and eliminate unproductive competition and duplications of effort. The main achievements of the meeting are: 1.The thematic and geographic coverage of each network was mapped and made known to peer networks. 2.The objectives, funding mechanisms, modus operandi and strategies of the various networks were shared and opportunities for synergy were identified. 3.Recommendations and action plans were formulated to enable the complementary networks to contribute to and benefit from BASIC. 4.This was the first ever meeting of networks involved in capacity building in agriculture and natural resources in Africa. The participants confirmed that further meetings would result in significant collaborative benefits. They agreed to hold similar conferences annually to enhance sharing of information and experiences, especially on agenda and strategies, and to build upon the achievements of this meeting. The BASIC Interim Implementation Committee (BIIC) attended the meeting and gained a great deal of information and encouragement for advancing BASIC in the wider context of the mandates and products of existing networks and projects. BIIC members informed participants about BASIC and provided guidance on future collaboration with the networks and projects

publication date

  • 2005