VIRTUAL EVENT: 4th Calestous Juma Executive Dialogue: Smart Agricultural Innovations to safeguard Africa’s Food Security

VIRTUAL EVENT: 4th Calestous Juma Executive Dialogue: Smart Agricultural Innovations to safeguard Africa’s Food Security

28 April 2021. 4th Calestous Juma Executive Dialogue: Smart Agricultural Innovations to safeguard Africa’s Food Security

This Dialogue focused on strategic innovation and emerging technologies for smart agriculture to strengthen Africa’s food security. As such, this executive dialogue provided capacity strengthening of senior policy and decision-makers through the exchange of knowledge and national experiences, networking, experiencing diversity and building mutually beneficial relationships with a focus on emerging technologies in the 21st century suitable for Africa’s sustainable agriculture and food security.

1st Day:

  • During the first day of the executive dialogue, participants were provided with an overview of the African Union political authorisation on science, innovation and emerging technologies in AU Agenda 2063. 
  • Participants were introduced to the work of the African Union High Level Panel on Innovation and Emerging Technologies (APET), including some of the technologies recommended for Africa’s socio-economic development with respect to smart agriculture and food security
  • Delegates discussed a module on how Africa can achieve food security post-COVID. This will focus on disruptive technologies of food security and safety, as well as the threats, technology opportunities post-COVID. 
  • The youth, innovation and post-COVID Africa skills focused on youth’s entrepreneurship opportunities in agriculture with respect to the fourth industrial revolution and emerging technologies.

2nd Day:

  • The second day of the executive dialogue included discussions on the concept of ethics, socio-cultural issues and gender considerations in food security. 
  • There was a panel discussion on challenges women in agriculture face and the role of technology in addressing them. 
  • Participants also introduced to three young African innovators in agriculture in another experience sharing session. They deliberated on important topics pertaining to science, innovation, and emerging technologies such as policy conformity, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in key governance areas of the continent. 
  • Other important issues included the work of AUDA-NEPAD in food security, including coordination and implementation strategies related to policy and programming


  1. APET Chair: Prof. Yaye Kène Gassama
    Vice-Chair of the board of the National Academy of Science and Technology of Senegal She is a Professor in Plant Biotechnology at the University Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar and acts as Vice-Chair of the board of the National Academy of Science and Technology of Senegal and Chair of the basic, applied sciences and innovation section. She is a former minister of science and technology of Senegal, acting on behalf Senegal Government, as chair of AMCOST II (African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology). Under the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Prof. Gassama as national coordinator has helped develop in Senegal, a regulatory framework on the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). 
  2. Dr Rachel Chikwamba
    Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR Group Executive, Chemicals, Agriculture, Food and Health, Member of APET Dr Rachel Chikwamba is currently the director of the Vice President/Group Executive at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa, where she is responsible for Chemicals, Agriculture, Food and Health. She has led and participated in several global research consortia supported by the European Union Framework Programme and the Rockefeller Foundation among others. Rachel holds a PhD in Genetics from Iowa State University in the USA and a Master of Business Administration at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. 
  3. Dr Shadrach Moephuli
    Agricultural Research Council, South Africa Chief Executive Officer Dr. Shadrack Moephuli is the President and CEO of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) South Africa, a responsibility he assumed in 2006. He currently serves as a member of the AU – EU High Level Policy Dialogue Working Group (HLPD – WG). He was also a member of the Genetic Resource Policy Committee of the CGIAR. Dr Denis Kyetere African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Kenya Executive Director His leadership and management experience spans across various sub-regional and regional organisations, networks, projects and committees including the ASARECA and FARA. 
  4. Prof Roseanne Diab
    GenderInSITE, Durban, South Africa Director Prof. Roseanne Diab is the Director of Gender in Science, Innovation, Technology and Engineering (Site), A UNESCO’s Programme Unit Hosted by The World Academy Of Sciences (TWAS). She has served as Co-Chair of the Inter-Academy Council panel that reviewed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 
  5. Prof Leonard KamwanjaLake Malawi Anglican University Vice Chancellor He is a visiting Scientist in the Department of Biotechnology of the Institut fur Tierzucht Und Tierverhalten (FAL) Mariensee, Germany. Currently, he is Vice-Chancellor of the Lake Malawi Anglican University. 
  6. Prof. Hassan O. Kaya
    Director and Research Leader DSI-NRF Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems Professor Hassan Omari Kaya is Principal Researcher and Director of DSI (Department of Science and Innovation) – NRF (National Research Foundation) Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (CIKS), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa. He is currently coordinating the establishment of the UNESCO Category 2 African Institute in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIIKS), a consortium of more than 20 African higher education and autonomous research institutions, with its hub at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. 
  7. Prof Sunita Facknath
    University of Mauritius, Mauritius Professor in Sustainable Agriculture She has researched and developed a large number of environmentally-friendly, and sustainable technologies for crop health, using natural and/or non-chemical approaches that can be used in biofarming and organic production. 
  8. Dr Brylyne Chitsunge
    Pan-African Parliament, South Africa Pan-African Parliament’s Food Security Ambassador Dr Brylyne Chitsunge is a farmer who has always been a tireless advocate for food security through the empowerment of farmers in general and women, not only in South Africa but also throughout the continent.
  9. Dr Maria Madiope
    University of Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa Her studies focussed on using Mobile technology for research proposal writing. 
  10. Prof. Emmanuel Bobobee
    Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana Associate Professor of Agricultural Machinery Engineering Emmanuel holds PhD in Agricultural Machinery Engineering from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, MSc degree in Agricultural Machinery Engineering from Cranfield University UK, and BSc (Hons) degree in Agricultural Engineering Kumasi, Ghana. He has invented the innovative mechanical cassava harvester that is ideal for harvesting all tropical root and tuber crops. 
  11. Dr. B.M. Prasanna
    CGIAR Research Program on Maize Director of CIMMYT’s Global Maize Program Prasanna also leads MAIZE, a CGIAR alliance of more than 300 research and development institutions worldwide that seeks to mobilize global resources in maize research and development to achieve a greater strategic impact on maize-based farming systems in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 
  12. Darlington Ahiale Akogo
    karaAgro AI He is the Founder and Director of Artificial Intelligence at GUDRA and its subsidiaries: minoHealth, minoHealth AI Labs, karaAgro AI, Runmila AI Institute, and Gudra AI Studio. Akogo is involved in AI and tech across several other platforms and industries. He’s the Lead of the Topic Group on AI4Radiology under the United Nations International Telecommunication Union and the World Health Organization’s Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health (AI4H). At UN AI4H, Akogo leads the development of global regulations and standards for AI in radiology. 
  13. Dr Emma Naluyima
    CEO, One Acre Limited Joint Prize Winner – Africa Food Prize 2019 Dr Madichaba Phuti Chelopo-Mgobozi The Innovation Hub, South Africa Innovation Specialist: Biosciences Her role involves supporting BioPark life science incubator and AgriPark initiatives. 
  14. Dr Chelopo-Mgobozi
    is passionate about technology innovations to improve healthcare and alleviation high-burden diseases across Africa. She has obtained her PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from North-West University. 
  15. Dr Moses Lubinga
    National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC); Agriculture Sciences; South Africa Senior Agricultural Economist 
  16. Dr Litha Musyimi-Ogana
    She is currently the gender advisor of AUDA-NEPAD in South Africa. Previously, she worked as the regional director of the African Centre for Empowerment, Gender and Advocacy (Acega) based in Nairobi, Kenya and also as Director: Women, Gender and Development at African Union Commission, Addis Ababa 
  17. Prof. Juliana M. Mafwil
    MNI Pathfinder Christian University, Jos, Nigeria Professor of Political Economy and Development Studies and Dean, Management and Social Sciences She has previously been a National Focal Point for the AUDA-NEPAD STEM Project and is the current National Focal Point(Nigeria) of the Calestous Juma Executive Dialogue. 
  18. Dr Justina Dugbazah
    AUDA NEPAD, South Africa Ag Coordinator of APET and CJED Dr Dugbazah has over 20 years’ experience in project management in public service and development partners particularly CIDA, DFID, the World Bank, African Development Bank and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has supported governments at various levels to develop policies and strategies for community development and relevant skills training. 
  19. Prof Claudia Emmerson
    McMaster University, Hamilton – Canada She is especially interested in ethics issues related to the introduction and adoption of novel technologies, the management of infectious disease, and data sharing and models of data governance. She is currently the Principal Investigator of a research program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that considers these issues. 
  20. Dr Francis Nang’ayo
    African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Kenya Ms Ruramiso Mashumba Mnandi Farms, Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer In 2020 Ruramiso was named one of the top 1000 entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe. She was also selected to be one of the top 54 women in Africa. 
  21. Mr Gabriel U. Aniabi
    GoBeyond Enterprises, Nigeria Development Consultant, Founder Gabriel is currently organizing UN Food Systems Summit Independent Dialogues – Nigeria targeted at youth inclusion in Agriculture and also in the works of building Nigeria’s single private largest beehive collective driven by tech. 
  22. Dr Keabetswe T. Ncube
    Co-Founder of Feminine Farmers, South Africa Founder and CEO, Kea Ncube Agri Services (PTY) LTD She is a former Next Einstein Forum Ambassador for South Africa (2017-2019)
  23. Dr Filippo Randazzo
    Leverage Science – USA CEO and Founder Previously, Fil served as a Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). 
  24. Dr Samir Boudibi
    Scientific and Technical Research Center on Arid Regions (CRSTRA), Algeria He is a member of different national and international research projects including 3 PRIMA projects and1 ERANET project. 
  25. Dr Zama Khumalo
    Medical Scientist at NICD South Africa National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) 
  26. Dr Dumisani Magadlela
    Development Bank of Southern Africa Executive and Leadership Coach, Coach Trainer and African Skills Development Practitioner Dumi is part-time faculty and facilitator at the University of Stellenbosch’s Business School (USB), 
  27. Mr Christian Ikwele
    Green Thought Enterprise, DRC Congo Chief Executive Officer

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