The objectives of the Policy Dialogue are to:
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is dealing with climate change and its impacts will intensify in the medium term. Higher temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and more frequent and extreme droughts and floods are projected. This has major implications for Africa’s smallholder farmers who support their households and local markets through products produced in less than three hectares of land. Nearly 93% of agriculture in Africa south of the Sahara is currently rainfed and a large share of the rural population is subject to the vagaries of climate to grow crops and support livestock production. Yields for both crops and livestock have stagnated or grown only slowly for decades; as a result, net food imports of basic staples have increased rapidly in line with growing populations and are projected to continue.
Many studies have found that, compared to historic climate scenarios, climate change will lead to changes in yield and area growth, with overall lower yield growth and therefore larger expansion, higher food prices and therefore lower affordability of food, reduced calorie availability, and growing childhood undernutrition in Africa south of the Sahara. Without solutions, falling crop yields, will push more people into poverty. An estimated 43 million people in Africa alone could fall below the poverty line by 2030 as a result. The food security challenge will only become more difficult, as the continent will need to produce about 70 percent more food by 2050 to feed an estimated 9 billion people.
Substantial investments in adaptation will be required to maintain current yields and to achieve production and food quality increases to meet demand. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrated approach to managing landscapes—cropland, livestock, forests, and fisheries–that address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change. CSA aims to simultaneously achieve three outcomes of (i) increased productivity; (2) enhanced resilience and (3) reduced emissions.
While built on existing knowledge, technologies, and principles of sustainable agriculture, CSA is distinct in that it has an explicit focus on addressing climate change. Second, CSA systematically considers the synergies and trade-offs that exist between productivity, adaptation, and mitigation. Practices that have been found to be potentially climate-smart in a wide range of contexts include improved water management. Irrigation is a particularly robust climate smart agricultural (CSA) technology in the semi-arid and arid areas of SSA and is often essential to the deployment of any other CSA technology. Across Africa, there are research and development projects working to help farmers adapt to the challenges associated with climate change.
The Transforming Smallholder Irrigation in Southern Africa consortium in collaboration with the FANRPAN Node Hosting Institution in South Africa – National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), Agriculture Research Council (ARC) South Africa, Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), the SADC Groundwater Management Institute (GMI); the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); the International Water Resources Association (IWRA); International Water Management Institute (IWMI); the Water Research Commission (WRC) of South Africa, the Wine Industry of South Africa), Human Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) and the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP)have come together to convene a CSA Policy Dialogue ahead of the UN 2023 Water Conference. The Policy Dialogue provides a unique opportunity for stakeholders from SSA to reflect together and craft messages that will feed into the UN Water Conference deliberations.
The conference theme is “Transitioning to Climate-Resilient Farming Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa,” focusing on the next generation of research, smart technology, policy development and best practices that are achieving breakthroughs in this vitally important mission.
Five subthemes have been identified:
The discussions will be around how innovative governance practices and technologies can be leveraged and scaled up to ultimately lead to improved water resources use and the transformation of Africa’s agriculture and food systems.
The discussions will focus on the indispensable role that water plays in the design of food systems within a circular society in which water is also preserved for nature.
The discussions will deepen the understanding of gender and social inclusion in the context of agriculture and food systems, water resources use, climate change.
The discussions will explore how inclusive human and institutional capacities at all levels can enable improved adoption of climate smart agriculture technologies.
The discussions will delve into concrete actions governments can take to boost climate-smart agriculture, both in the form of investment opportunities and policy design and implementation.
The policy dialogue will bring together representatives of regional economic communities (RECs), international and regional institutions, government representatives, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, international, regional, and national research organizations; universities; farmer organizations; private sector; civil society; the media and other stakeholders.
Minister, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development of South Africa
Angela Thokozile Didiza is currently a Member of Parliament (MP), serving as Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development in the sixth administration under the leadership of President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa.
She has recently been elected as the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Ministerial Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment
CEO and Head of Mission FANRPAN
Is an experienced applied research, policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation, policy advocacy specialist in the area of food systems, agriculture and natural recourses (FANR) with a total of more than 25 years working experience. Six (6) years of these is at an executive management level. Currently, as a CEO and Head of Mission of FANRPAN, Tshilidzi is vested with the key responsibility to provide overall strategic leadership and guidance to the organization.
Australian High Commissioner to South Africa
Ms Brink is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Assistant Secretary, Strategic Investment Branch.
She has previously served overseas in New York as Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Permanent Mission to the UN, and Chef de Cabinet to the President of the UN General Assembly.
Ms Brink has also served in the Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Advisory Centre on WTO Law in Geneva.
I thank former High Commissioner, Ms Gita Kamath for her contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in South Africa since 2019.
Director-General: Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development South Africa
He is an experienced and goal driven executive with high regard for attention to detail. He strives to complete set goals on time, within budget and to the utility of stakeholders. He is a strategic thinker who is always willing to engage on variety leadership and management issues. His key objectives in life are to make a difference in people's lives and continuously strive to improve workplace capacity and capabilities.
Research Program Manager, Water Program, ACIAR
Advocate and Scientist. Neil is a water and development specialist. Neil leads the Water program at ACIAR.
Neil is a talented and experienced project and program manager. He has successfully delivered large multi-disciplinary projects for key clients such as Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Autoridad Nacional del Agua (Peru), Southern Peru Copper Company and Gold Coast City Council. Neil has previously led CSIRO’s Water Program and International Water Practice, responsible for managing over 100 personnel and $50M in programs.
Neil’s work and interests focus on how society makes complex trade-offs in resource constrained environments drawing on his socioeconomic and natural science skills. His works spans social and environmental justice and poverty alleviation, marine and coastal resources management, drought and water security. Neil is passionate about the use of systems approaches and citizen science. Neil has worked extensively in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
Neil’s pioneering work in non-market valuation continues to inform beach management and tourism investments. Neil's design and delivery of the Australian Government's Coastal Adaptation Decision Pathways Grant program sets the benchmark for management and adaptation to climate risk in the coastal zone. In 2016, Neil led a team to deliver a multi-method impact evaluation framework that offers improved approaches to measure diffusion and impact to support Australia's international aid program. In 2019, he led a team to deliver Peru’s first ever drought management plan, which has rapidly emerged as industry standard for the region.
Chief Executive Officer, HSRC
Sarah Mosoetsa is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) and the Chief Executive Officer at the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS).
Author of “Eating from one pot: Dynamics of Survival in poor South African households” (Wits Press, 2011) and co-editor of “Labour in the Global South: challenges and alternatives for workers” (ILO, 2012). She has also published papers in several academic journals. Her recent collaborative works includes “Precarious Labor in Global Perspective, International Labor and Working-class History” (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and “New South African Review 6 - The Crisis of Inequality” (Wits Press 2018).
Sarah Mosoetsa has worked for various organizations such as the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA). She is a former chair and member of the Global Labour University and chairperson of the South African Labour Bulletin Board. Until recently, she was a Council member at Rhodes University. Currently serving as a Board member at the National Research Foundation (NRF).
Chief Executive Officer, SACNASP
Experienced executive with a demonstrated history of working in the international trade and development industry. Skilled in Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Start-ups, Product Development. Strong information technology professional with a Best final year PhD student, Mandela Magdalene College Scholarship focused in Biotechnology/Molecular Biology from University of Cambridge.
Executive Director, AATF
Dr. Kanangire is the Executive Director of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF). An astute administrator, academician, and internationally recognised professional, Dr. Kanangire is an experienced technocrat with a wealth of knowledge in leadership and management of international institutions, including developing strategic partnerships and networks at regional, continental and global levels with great ability for resource mobilization.
Just before joining AATF, he served as the Executive Secretary at the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), a pan-African inter-governmental institution and a delivery mechanism on water and sanitation for the African Union between September 2016 and May 2021. Dr Kanangire’s career path has also seen him serve at the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) as the Executive Secretary between 2011 and 2016, and the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) as Head of Strategic Planning and Management between 2009 and 2011 and as Regional Manager of its Capacity Building program between 2004 and 2009.
The one-time lecturer and Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Rwanda, Canisius was also a member of the Board of Directors of ISAR (the Rwandan Institute for Agricultural Research) restructured into the current Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB).
Dr Canisius Kanangire holds a doctorate degree in Aquatic Sciences and Master’s degree in Freshwater Ecology from the University of Namur, Belgium.
Executive Director, SADC Groundwater Management Institute (GMI)
Nearly 30 years high profile working experience across the SADC region backed by a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and an MBA in General Management. Lived and worked in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi and Ireland and worked with all the 16 SADC Member States.
Specialties: Team leader/player/motivator and programme/project/executive management of government and donor funded infrastructure as well as institutional strengthening and development programmes on transport, WASH and decentralised service delivery. Expertise in building and sustaining networks, knowledge management, capacity building, training, human resources, financial and resources mobilisation. Demonstrated leadership of complex multi-disciplinary and multi-racial teams. Excellent language & interpersonal skills
Executive Secretary, African Capacity Building Foundation
Mr. Mamadou Biteye, a seasoned agricultural economist and development expert, is the Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the African Union’s specialized agency for capacity development.
Mr. Biteye joined ACBF from VISA, where he served as Vice-President, Global Head of Inclusive Growth and before that as Regional Head of Social Impact for the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa Region.
Among his achievements at VISA, he collaboratively developed a global financial digital equity and inclusion strategy focused on leveraging VISA products and forging strategic multi-stakeholder partnerships for impact.
He also led the development and implementation of global strategy frameworks for financial education and small and micro business support for growth and resilience.
He also worked as Managing Director Africa for the Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing the organisation’s work across the continent. This included work on youth employment, health, philanthropy, agriculture, and food security.
Prior to joining the Rockefeller Foundation, Mr. Biteye served as Oxfam’s Regional Director for West Africa.
Major highlights of his service at Oxfam include providing leadership during responses to major humanitarian crises on the continent. As Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Oxfam International, his strategic leadership was present in responses to several large multi-country humanitarian crises, which included responses to food crises in the Sahel (2010 and 2012), Cholera in Sierra Leone and Liberia (2012), Floods in Nigeria (2012), conflicts in Cote d’Ivoire (2011) and Mali (2012).
In recognition of his humanitarian work, Mr. Biteye was made Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for leadership.
Mr. Biteye serves on several advisory boards, including the Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE), African Women Impact Fund, Center on African Philanthropy and Social Investment, Niyel and currently serves on the Board of Directors of myAgro. In 2019, he was listed among the 100 Most Influential Africans by The Africa Report.
Mr. Biteye holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from Ohio State University in the U.S, and a Master’s Degree and Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from The Crimean Agricultural Institute in the Ukraine.
Regional Representative, Southern Africa IWMI
Inga is a political scientist and has a PhD in International Relations from St-Andrews University, Scotland. She specialises in water governance with over 10 years of experience in transboundary water governance (particularly cooperative governance in Africa), science communication, and research impact and uptake.
She is currently the Country Representative for the International Water Management Institute's Southern Africa regional office, in Pretoria, South Africa. Before joining IWMI, Inga was the research group leader of the integrated water solutions group at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) where she managed a transdisciplinary team of researchers working on the co-development of integrated water solutions in South Africa and throughout SADC. Inga was also the Executive Manager: Business Development, Marketing and Communications at the Water Research Commission.
Current areas of focus: operationalizing the water-energy-food nexus and its governance frameworks; water stewardship; community-based approaches/supported self-supply; hybrid water law; environmental migration.
Regional Director - Southern Africa, WFP
Dr Menghestab Haile is WFP's Regional Director for Southern Africa. Before moving to South Africa, he served as the WFP Country Director and Representative in Egypt. Dr Haile has occupied diverse professional posts ranging from a university lecturer in Ethiopia, Research Scientist in the UK, government civil servant in Ethiopia, international private sector consultant in IGAD and most recently the UN WFP. Since joining WFP, he has worked in the Sudan leading a food security and early warning system development, then moved to the Head Quarters of the organization in Rome, Italy to lead the GIS and remote sensing section of WFP with a global responsibility. He was then appointed as Senior Policy Advisor of the Deputy Executive Director of Hunger Solutions and then appointed Deputy Director of the WFP Africa office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with main responsibility liaising with the African Union, NEPAD and ECA. He served as WFP Country Director and Representative here in Egypt.
Dr Haile received his PhD in Meteorology from the University of Reading, UK and has published several papers. His professional interest revolves around capacity building of national governments and developing strategic partnerships with the AUC, NEPAD and Regional Economic, Communities (RECs) in the areas of early warning and Vulnerability Assessment and Mapping (VAM), Disaster reduction and Risk Management including (such as the innovative Africa Risk Capacity - ARC), emergency response, and applications of GIS and remote sensing.
Network and Research Manager, FSNet-Africa, UP
Currently the Network and Research Manager for FSNet-Africa, Dr Elizabeth Mkandawire has a PhD in Rural Development Planning. Her research and publications have focused on integrating gender in nutrition policy, and especially on men’s involvement in maternal and child health.
Over the past several years, Dr Mkandawire has been involved in numerous food security and nutrition-related activities, including research work for the Feed the Future Food Security Policy Innovation Lab at the University of Pretoria. As part of the Lab, she led the gender and nutrition case study conducted in Lilongwe, Blantyre, and Ntcheu, Malawi, where she researched men’s involvement in maternal and child nutrition. She has also contributed to the CAADP process in several African countries. She played a central role in preparing a scoping report for Malawi for the International Food Policy Research Institute Compact 2025 initiative.
Global Lead, Food Security and Rural Well Being, GCA
Oluyede Ajayi (Olu) is a multilingual, strategic leader in designing development programs, bank investment project portfolio, managing human & financial resources, and with strong passion to make real developmental impacts. He has a progressive and extensive field operations experience in agriculture, climate change, rural development including mainstreaming climate adaptation in the design of investment projects of multilateral development banks (successfully provided technical support to the design of investment projects worth over one billion USD in the past one year). He has managed grants, project cycle management, private sector engagement, evidence-based policy advice & advocacy.
Previously, Olu had successful career in three international agricultural research centres (CGIAR), with over 200 publications to his credit, and won the "Diamond Author Prize" award over several years. He has successfully built alliance with a range of clients, across public and private sector.
He lived in several countries in Europe, Southern Africa region, Eastern Africa region, West Africa region and, managed project portfolios in the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and SIDS region. He has excellent skills in English, French, Yoruba and basic knowledge of Dutch and German
Director - Strategic Projects and Partnerships in Agriculture, UP
Dr Visser has more than 19 years’ experience in the Agricultural industry, 13 at senior leadership level. She has extensive knowledge in the field of Agricultural research and policy, gained from diverse Agricultural industries. She started her career at the Agricultural Research Council as a Senior Plant Pathologist and her previous roles includes Chief Director: Plant Production and Health; and Director: Plant Health at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
CEO, National Agriculture Marketing Council
Dr Ngqangweni is an agricultural economist. He obtained his PhD in Agricultural Economics in 2000 from the University of Pretoria where he also lectured for seven years (2000 – 2006). He worked at the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) from 2006 to 2008 as a Senior Researcher before he left to join Government senior management as Director for Economic Services and later Director for Agroprocessing Support at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) from 2009 to 2013. He returned to the NAMC in 2013 to become Senior Manager responsible for the Markets and Economic Research Centre (MERC), a position he occupied until September 2019. After a short tenure as Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) (October 2019 to March 2020), he was appointed in June 2020 as the CEO of the NAMC. As an academic, he has published widely in the broad areas of agricultural and food policy, rural markets, land reform and agricultural economic development.
Director - African Regional Centre, SIWI
An environment and development professional, Anton Earle leads teams in water management and development internationally, facilitating the interaction between governments, the private sector and other stakeholders for risk-reduction for infrastructure investments and climate-resilient development.
He is experienced in ESG at the inter-state level in Africa, the Middle-East and East Asia. He has over 20 years’ experience in capacity-building, applied research and policy formation initiatives around topics such as water infrastructure finance, transboundary water governance, gender equality, climate change resilience; and stakeholder participation and inclusion, with a long-term objective of establishing the foundations for investments in water and energy resources. Outputs include an extensive list of publications on these topics.
Project Manager, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa, AATF
Is a climate change specialist with practical and policy implementation experience. He has designed and influenced the implementation of regional and global policies and frameworks on climate change, sustainable development, UN Food Systems and UN Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR. At African level, He has engaged extensively the African Union Malabo Process, where he successfully advocated for increased national investment on Nutrition, agricultural biotechnology, and climate change. In his work of influencing, he has engaged in strategy development, partnership managements and managing advocacy and influencing. He has extensively engaged in the UNFCCC process, where he supported the Malawi Government delegation to UNFCCC and negotiate on adaptation, Climate Finance, Response Measures, and agriculture.
Director - Policy Research and Analysis at FANRPAN
Sithembile coordinates FANRPAN’s climate smart agriculture policy research and advocacy projects. Her work focuses on enhancing the research to policy and practice interface to help raise investment in, and policy support for climate-smart agriculture. she manages a portfolio of programs that include projects on Irrigation Water Management, Post-harvest Management, and Climate Smart Resilient Agriculture.
Director - Agriculture and Industry, COMESA
Providence MAVUBI is an agribusiness and development practitioner working in agribusiness trade and investment promotion, industry & enterprise development, youth & women empowerment. She has worked with government ministries & agencies, donor organizations, and private sector in the promotion of entrepreneurship,industry development, trade and investment, mobilization of resources and establishment of networks to support increased private sector engagement in business trade and investment. She has trained, coached and mentored startup businesses and facilitate them with financial institutions linkages.
Country Representative – Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Senior Scientist, ICRISAT Zimbabwe
Principal Scientist (Farming & Systems Analysis) | Country Representative (Zimbabwe) | Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Sciences Cluster Leader
University of South Australia (UniSA), Australia
Professor Henning Bjornlund is a Research Professor in Water Policy and Management in the Centre for Markets, Values and Inclusion, UniSA Business. He has been researching water management and policy issues in Australia since 1993, and in Canada since 2005. Since 2013 he has focused on working with small scale irrigators in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Professor Bjornlund is a member of the board of the International Water Resources Association where he is the Chair of the Science, Technology and Publication Committee, on the Bureau of the International scientific Committee for the XVII World Water Congress to be held in Daegu, Korean in September 2021, and on the Steering Committee for the Smart Water City Project to advice the Korean government on the Busan Eco Delta City project. He also serves on the editorial board of two international journals: Agricultural Water Management and Sustainable Development and Planning. He is currently a guest editor for two special issues, one for the International Journal of Water Resources Development and one for Water International.
Henning works closely with industry partners in Australia, Canada, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa and France.
Executive Manager, SAWITU
Mrs Wendy Petersen has been appointed at the helm of the Operations for The SA Wine Industry Transformation Unit NPC in February 2019. Since joining the organisation, she has been instrumental in ensuring that black owned enterprises and farms receives the relevant small business development, mentoring support, funding, marketing, promotional and technical support to ensure that their businesses are sustainable.
She holds 30 years’ experience in the South African Wine Industry and have wealth of knowledge on various levels of primary, secondary and tertiary levels of the wine value chain. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing with specialisation in Strategy management and she is currently finalising her studies towards her Honours degree in Marketing and Strategy Management.
Wendy holds various other qualifications in the field of Project management, Product and Packaging development including Leadership.
Wendy was responsible for Innovation and Product Development, both packaging and product, for multinational organisations to the likes of Distell, KWV and DGB.
Her knowledge stretch widely over various product ranges which includes wine, ready to drinks, ciders, spirits, and cream liquors.
She has been instrumental in the product development of award winning South African brands such as Savanna, Hunters, Amarula, Strawberry Lips, Esprit, Bernini, KWV, Vawter, Boschendal, Douglas Green, Bellingham to mention a few.
She is a determined futuristic leader, with her prevalent strengths being her ability to be resilient, find solutions and embrace change.
Her passion for the wine industry is deeply rooted in the appreciation, commitment, and dedication of each person’s role in the entire wine value chain.
Specialist Scientist, Climate Change Analysis, Department of Water and Sanitation, South Africa
Climate change and Agrohydrology Specialist. He is currently working as a Specialist Scientist responsible for Climate Change Analysis at the Department of Water and Sanitation, and the Chairperson of the Adaptation Network Steering Committee. He worked in Parliament of the Republic of South Africa as a Committee Researcher for the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy; Lead Scientist for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation at the South African Weather Services and before that Precision Agriculture Research at the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development