This publication has come out of the 3rd Africa-wide Women and Young Professionals in Science Competitions, and it profiles the achievements of the semi-finalists and all who participated. The two competitions were both timely and strategic as science, technology and innovation is increasingly regarded as an important ingredient for agricultural transformation and sustained socioeconomic development in Africa. Policymakers at national, continental and international levels are more committed than ever to advancing agriculture.
CTA, FARA and partners believe that knowledge especially that which is generated through research should be communicated to a wide range of stakeholders to catalyse agricultural innovation. Through the competitions, the consortium partners supported African women and young professionals to showcase their work in agricultural research to stakeholders and the public on the continent and the larger international community. Through their outstanding research and the ‘winning’ papers they wrote, enterprising and promising women and young professionals contributed to the success of the 2012/13 competitions. This publication provides insights into their research which is aimed at resolving Africa’s challenges in food and nutrition security and highlights the priority areas for further investigation.
Most of the winners work in their national systems and their research is already making a difference on the ground. The diversity of topics and approaches demonstrates the great potential of African women and young professionals in using science and innovation to address Africa’s challenges. Furthermore, the strategies, methods and tools that they are using to disseminate – scientific findings, technologies, or approaches – show their creativity in reaching the intended audiences and beneficiaries.
The competitions have shown that African women and young professionals are making a difference and can make an even greater impact if the resources are made available to them and they are given due recognition. CTA and FARA consider this publication as an important communication tool for encouraging African women and young professionals to make greater strides in the pursuit of science and innovation. It also underlines the importance of investing in women and future generations.
We believe that with the support and cooperation of policy makers, academic community, private sector, and development partners, African scientists can contribute to agricultural transformation on the continent. In addition, scientific excellence that responds to the needs and aspirations of African farmers and the wider society must be supported, promoted and rewarded. CTA203 Africa Wide Women
Dr Yemi Akinbamijo: Executive Director, FARA
Michael Hailu: Director, CTA