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Building a Food Security and Policy Information Portal for Africa (FSIP)

Josue Dione, Joan Kagwanja, Michael T. Weber (), John M. Staatz and Valerie Auserehl Kelly ()

No 9514, 2004 Inaugural Symposium, December 6-8, 2004, Nairobi, Kenya from African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE)

Abstract: Getting the food and agriculture system moving faster is crucial for structural transformation and poverty reduction in Africa. This requires investing in basic productive and market infrastructure, and expanding appropriate research, knowledge, and technology for increased productivity at all stages of the agricultural commodity chains. The advent of the World Wide Web and steady reductions in the cost and increases in the speed of Internet services in Africa are changing the way we must think about the development, storage, and dissemination of policy analysis and training materials, which are crucial inputs for agricultural development. Yet, much remains to be done to harness these information communication technology tools more effectively to help achieve African development goals in agricultural sciences, food security, and policy reform (UNECA/DISD). Our paper identifies opportunities and constraints facing a program being undertaken by the UNECA, several regional African policy research networks, and MSU to: (1) improve the skills of African technical and social scientists to use more effectively the wealth of scientific knowledge and experience currently available on the Internet to carry out applied policy research, outreach and training; and (2) make the work of Africans more visible to others, thereby fostering south-north and south-south learning. The paper discusses a collaborative internet-based tool being developed to achieve these objectives. The Food Security and Food Policy Information Portal for Africa gives researchers and policy makers a one-stop and multi-language location for: (a) easily accessing key data and analyses on food security and food policy for every country in Africa; (b) sharing their own work with colleagues across the world; (c) finding training materials on more effective use of the ICT, and on improved applied research and policy analysis methods, and; (d) spotlighting experiences on how to improve the effective.

Keywords: Food Security and Poverty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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