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“Women Leaders Driving Science and Innovation for Agricultural Transformation in Africa”
2016 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium: "Let Food Be Thy Medicine"
12 October 2016


October 12-14, 2016, Des Moines, Iowa

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On 14 October 2016, in Des Moines, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and FANRPAN co-hosted a high-level panel at the 2016 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium to highlight the role of women in driving agricultural transformation. The panel comprised prominent women leading and driving innovations in the agricultural sector as well as prominent leaders that are investing and promoting gender equality in agriculture, science and innovation in organizations and farms across the continent and the globe. The Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, known informally as the "Borlaug Dialogue," is one of the premier conferences in the world on global agriculture, bringing together, each year, over 1,200 people from more than 65 countries to address cutting-edge issues related to global food security and nutrition.

The Women Leaders Driving Science and Innovation for Agricultural Transformation in Africa panel included:

A bold, new story is emerging in Africa. It's a story of change and empowerment. It's a story that begins with recognizing the enormous role that women play in Africa's agriculture and their potential to transform Africa's agriculture and growth. Both IDRC and FANRPAN recognise the role that that women play in Africa's agriculture and their potential to transform Africa's agriculture and growth. Across the continent and beyond, emerging African women leaders are driving science and innovation to transform African agriculture. While inequalities still persist, the growth of women's leadership in agriculture in Africa is transforming the sector and encouraging investments in women and girls in science and innovation. The panel sought to explore some questions that included:

  • how women leaders are driving science and innovation to transform African agriculture?
  • how African women leaders are poised to deal with the current challenges of transforming African agriculture?
  • how the future looks like for women's leadership on the continent and what kinds of investments are we making now to build the next generation of African women leaders?

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug who established the World Food Prize, the 2016 Borlaug Dialogue theme was "Let Food Be Thy Medicine,". It best captured the ground-breaking achievement for which the 2016 World Food Prize laureates were being honoured - the development and implementation of biofortification, breeding critical vitamins and micronutrients into staple crops, thereby dramatically reducing "hidden hunger" for millions.

During the dialogue, the World Food prize, the foremost international award recognizing-without regard to race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs-the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world is awarded. The Prize recognizes contributions in any field involved in the world food supply-food and agriculture science and technology, manufacturing, marketing, nutrition, economics, poverty alleviation, political leadership and the social sciences. Since 1986, The World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world.

The Borlaug Dialogue occurs each October on or around World Food Day in conjunction with the awarding of the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. Additional events surrounding the conference include the Global Youth Institute, which aims to inspire the next generation of scientific and humanitarian leaders; the Iowa Hunger Summit, a free, grassroots event for regional hunger-fighting organizations; and several side events held by partner organizations.

The panel also launched a newly published IDRC book available on the following sites:
FR: https://www.idrc.ca/fr/book/transforming-gender-and-food-security-global-south
EN: https://www.idrc.ca/en/book/transforming-gender-and-food-security-global-south

For more information:
https://www.worldfoodprize.org/en/borlaug_dialogue/2016_borlaug_dialogue/
https://farmingfirst.org/tag/world-food-prize/


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