Reshaping Africa’s food security and climate resilience through leveraging Ecosystem based Adaptation Assembly Policy Framework
Offshoots from EBAFOSA Kenya National Branch Launch
Following the 2nd Africa EBA for food security conference convened on 30-31 July 2015 by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) Africa and partners where over 1200 delegates from all across Africa adopted the Nairobi Action Agenda and the Constitution of the Ecosystems Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), the instruments establishing the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly, the EBAFOSA Kenya National Branch has been launched. EBAFOSA is an inclusive pan-African policy framework and implementation platform to ensure EBA driven agriculture and its value-chains, especially clean energy access to catalyze rural agro-industrialization, enhanced access to markets and enhanced access to affordable agro-financing, are up-scaled to being the norm in policy and practice across the entire continent and to ensure that grandeur development blueprints, especially Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, COP21 outcomes and the AU Agenda 2063 are adequately domesticated and implemented, - all these through a country driven process. The aim is to achieve 5 distinct benefits in countries, and ultimately across Africa – food & nutritional security, climate adaptation, enhanced ecosystems capacity and creation of income and job opportunities.
Article 7 of the EBAFOSA constitution establishes the structure of EBAFOSA and Country branches are the critical component where impactful activities are undertaken in a country led process. Country branches register local, continental and global actors within the country and facilitate their interactions and partnership to achieve implementation.
It is against this backdrop that the Kenya National Branch hosted by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) was launched at the Serena Hotel Nairobi, under the theme “Re-shaping Kenya’s food security and climate resilience through EBAFOSA”. The launch event under the leadership of the EBAFOSA Kenya officials, and the government, academia, the private sector, and the non-governmental, attracted about 120 delegates from government, academia, NGOs, CSOs, individual professionals & citizens, with strong media coverage to enhance awareness across the country. Most importantly, the event was graced by high level policy makers from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries and the Ministry of Environment demonstrating bridging of silos that is critical to achieving cross-cutting policies needed to build optimized, climate resilient food systems. Their remarks were equally in sync. The Guest of Honour at the launch was the Principle Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, who represented the Honorable Minister and formally launched the branch. In his remarks, the Minister noted that the Kenya Government has embraced a delivery by all approach and encourages partnerships like public-private-partnership towards this end. He welcomed EBAFOSA’s inclusivity and policy focus as a timely framework to foster these partnerships. He further noted that the glaring impacts of climate change on Kenya’s food security mean an imperative to build climate resilient food systems to safeguard food & livelihood security in the country. He further invited development partners to support and invest in EBAFOSA as a delivery mechanism for sustainable inclusive growth in Africa. He also noted that EBAFOSA will ensure the practical implementation and achievement of high-level continental policy positions by the AU member countries on agriculture and food security, among them the Maputo, Malabo Declarations, and the CAADP process. All these positions are echoed in the AU Agenda 2063, Africa’s vision document for an economically inclusive, environmentally sustainable Africa in about 50 years’ time. He noted that the Ministry of Agriculture is committed to working with EBAFOSA to optimize agricultural systems in Kenya for food security, jobs & income creation and for climate resilience.
On her part, the Environment Secretary, who is also the EBAFOSA Continental president reminded guests of the need to transition into commercial agriculture, agri-business while simultaneously building climate resilience hence the need to optimize agro-value chains holistically as EBAFOSA is doing. She lauded the decentralized approach of EBAFOSA, noting that agriculture being a devolved function means the county represents areas of action for EBAFOSA and challenged the EBAFOSA Kenya leadership to focus on actualizing partnerships for policy and actions at the county level.
On Academia, the Vice Chancellor of JKUAT, which is also the EBAFOSA Kenya National Secretariat & host institution noted that JKUAT’s mandate to train, research, innovates and transfer technology towards inclusive, sustainable development in Kenya, is aligned to the EBAFOSA mandate, and reiterated JKUAT’s commitment to support EBAFOSA Kenya.
The centrality of youth participation in Kenya’s development was underscored by both the chief-guest and the Environment secretary, who welcomed the inclusive partnerships of EBAFOSA as crucial to ensuring youth capacity building towards meaningful contribution to Kenya’s development.
The EBAFOSA Kenya National Branch launch was symbolized by the cutting of balloons by the chief guest as well as the counter-signing of certificates for the National Branch officials by the PS. This demonstrates high-level policy support for EBAFOSA by the Kenya government. The launch event was also widely covered by media, both main-stream and active social media coverage. This wide coverage was crucial to catalyze participation of more stakeholders and solutions providers, promoting inclusivity which is the essence of EBAFOSA.
The broad participation in the launch, especially cross-cutting policy level, academia, individual professionals & citizens, NGOs, CSOs, private sector coupled with significant media coverage was a major achievement for the EBAFOSA Kenya branch. This in ensuring the launch catalyzes progress in the EBAFOSA stakeholder promotion & mobilization and strategic partnership building, the crucial tenets towards EBAFOSA’s mandate of building targeted policy & action solutions for optimized, climate resilient food systems in Kenya and Africa.
EBAFOSA Kenya becomes the 5th National branch to be launched.
Congratulations EBAFOSA Kenya!