The workshop is organized by the EU-funded project LEAP4FNSSA*, with the support of the Agricultural Research Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation. It aims to launching a public private alliance of partners between Europe and North Africa to develop joint research and innovation projects on FNSSA, to enable the emergence of synergies and the optimization of funding and investments, while establishing the linkages between all relevant public and private players in the region.
"The EU and Africa have a long-standing partnership. We are strongly engaged with the African Union (AU) at continental level, as well as with every single African country bilaterally, including Egypt," said Ivan Surkoš, Ambassador of the EU to Egypt.
He stated that Research and Innovation (R&I) play a major role in the EU-Africa partnership, mainly through Horizon 2020, which is the biggest EU R&I programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).
"The current cooperation between Africa and Europe on agriculture and food security is substantial. We supported the EU-Africa R&I partnership on FNSSA, with a budget of €90 million earmarked in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020," he added.
Ambassador Surkoš pointed out that this partnership aims to boost the impact of AU-EU joint research at local level by addressing the entire value-chain, strengthening capacity-building and focusing on demonstration projects and pilot actions to bring R&I results to the users. It also aims to increase production of high quality food with appropriate inputs, enhance income growth and promote rural development, contributing as such to Agenda 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals).
In terms of cooperation with Egypt, he mentioned that food security and sustainable agriculture have been among the top topics that gained interest of Egyptian researchers participating in Horizon 2020. The programme funded around 10 projects in this sector covering important topics such as the sustainable water use in agriculture, and innovative management of genetic resources. "Participating Egyptian entities included ministries, public bodies, universities, research centres as well as private organizations," he concluded.
Egypt is hosting the 10th African Food Day Conference 28–30 October under the title "Fostering New Agricultural Technologies for Improved African Diets".
LEAP4FNSSA is a Horizon 2020 funded project with an EU contribution of 5 million EUR. The LEAP4FNSSA project aims at facilitating the cooperation between public and private players together with funders, and, provides a joint platform opened to all European and African institutions ready to engage in a sustainable partnership for research and innovation on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA).