Africa is rich in both natural and human resources, yet nearly 200 million of its people are undernourished because of inadequate food supplies. Comprehensive strategies are needed across the continent to harness the power of science and technology (S&T) in ways that boost agricultural productivity, profitability, and sustainability -- ultimately ensuring that all Africans have access to enough safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs. This report addresses the question of how science and technology can be mobilized to make that promise a reality.
It is not sufficient to have the agricultural science communities formulate strategies, plans and programs, if those to whom they are responsible do not accord them the priority they deserve. The Study Panel detected that in general, agricultural scientists were not providing the leadership and political advocacy that is required to move agriculture, and especially agricultural research and development, forward in Africa. They are too timid to advance either their own interests or the welfare of African agriculture. They may offer disillusionment and disincentive as excuses, and the Study Panel has some sympathy with that view. However, agricultural scientists need to adopt a more proactive, tenacious and innovative attitude, and should lobby their professional associations and academies of science to achieve the following: