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An online presentation by Dr Emmanuel Okogbenin entitled “The Imperatives and Key Tweaks to Building a Sustainable Agricultural Transformative Change in Africa” is now available to watch on the CONNECTED Vimeo channel.

Dr Okogbenin is based at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation in Kenya. He has a multi-disciplinary background as a plant molecular geneticist/breeder and agronomist (plant nutrition and physiology) with scientific publications in these disciplines.  He has 30 years of professional and research experience at both international and national levels across Africa and South America.

In the presentation, which formed part of the August 2021 CONNECTED  Online Seminar Series, Dr Okogbenin began with an overview of African agriculture, acknowledging that a lot of work needs to be channelled into agriculture to alleviate poverty. He then set out the key drivers for agricultural transformation in Africa: innovative technologies, an enabling environment, product deployment and delivery, and public-private partnerships.

He then looked in more detail at specific examples of pest management, hybrid seed production, nutrition and in particular the importance of women’s empowerment in achieving nutrition security.

Dr Okogbenin provided an overview of research capacity in Africa emphasising that technology does not move in isolation and that engagement with networks will be critical for research system development in Africa.

During the Q&A session there was a discussion around ensuring that any technology and/or resource created is fit for purpose and is accessible to those who will need to use it. Perceptions around literacy in rural communities must be challenged and abilities considered to ensure that tools and applications can be understood and used by everyone.

CONNECTED network members can watch Dr Okogbenin’s presentation using this link. You will need to be logged in as a CONNECTED member on the device you are using.