The first edition of the West Africa Technology Fair (WATEF) is set to open in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, on Monday, October 25, 2021. The overarching goal is to promote cutting-edge technologies needed for the transformation of West African agriculture.
Holding over five days (October 25-30, 2021) at the King Fahd Palace Hotel, the event would draw agriculture and finance ministers from West Africa, farmer organizations, businesses, civil society members, etc.
WATEF is organized jointly by CORAF and Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Most of the innovations on display constitute technologies being deployed at scale by CORAF’s Centers of Specialization and TAAT in view of opening up avenues for innovative partnerships, technology brokerage, and uptake.
“WATEF represents a platform for putting proven technologies and deliverables on the market, creating a situation where demand meets supply and exposing them to potential buyers,” says Dr. Abdou Tenkouano, Executive Director of CORAF.
“The fair will create opportunities for new partnership ventures with the private sector and other technology users in the sub-region.”
The overall goal of TAAT is toimprove agriculture as a business across Africa by deploying agricultural productivity-increasing technologies within nine priority commodities.
“WATEF will help to further mainstream path-breaking technologies into country agricultural programs towards transformation and socio-economic development across the sub-region,” says Dr. Innocent Musabyimana, Head of the TAAT Clearinghouse.
“As a follow-up to the High-level Dialogue on Feeding Africa: Leadership to Scale-up Successful Innovations, organized by the Africain Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development in April 2021, the fair will equally leverage the outcome of the United Nations 2021 Food Systems Summit as a pathway for a food secure West Africa.”
With the theme “Sustaining Momentum towards Agricultural Transformation,” the fair, which holds physically and virtually under the leadership of Prof. Moussa Baldé, the Senegalese Agriculture and Rural Equipment Minister and H.E. Mr. Sekou Sangare, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, will comprise agricultural commodity value chains like aquaculture, rice, maize, wheat, sorghum and millet, livestock and cassava. Others include orange-fleshed sweet potato, beans and vegetables. The fair will equally provide avenues for addressing transversal issues in agriculture such as seed policy harmonization, water management and irrigation, soil fertility, fall armyworm response and empowering youth in agribusiness.
Key Objectives of the Technology Fair
The Fair is a “marketplace” event comprising elements of Demand, Supply and Feasibility, driving its goal of increased technology uptake and mainstreaming towards agricultural transformation.
The key objectives are:
- To showcase tested and proven technologies of TAAT and CORAF for agricultural transformation;
- To deepen understanding and familiarisation on the functioning and potential of the technologies;
- To familiarise stakeholders with technology profiling instruments and platforms of TAAT and CORAF for assessing and acquiring technologies in response to demand;
- To strengthen connections between technology ‘owners’ and the private sector and other technology users;
- To establish new investment and collaborative partnerships that lead to project scaling and resource mobilisation.
Dr. Martin Fregene, Director, Agriculture and Agro-Industries, African Development Bank
Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, DG IITA & Regional Director OneCGIAR
Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, FARA
Dr. Abdou Tenkouano, Executive Director, CORAF
Directors-General of National Agricultural Research Systems in West Africa
- Agriculture and Finance Ministers from West Africa
- Central Bank Governors
- Top and emerging private sector industry
- National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems
- Representatives of farmer organisations
- Eminent leaders of global and regional development institutions
- Civil society and media representatives
Please click here to register: https://t.ly/W7zq