FANRPAN team in a virtual meeting with Ms Chikondi Chabvuta of CARE Southern Africa (top 3rd from left)

Today, a team of FANRPAN staffers from the Regional Secretariat held a meeting with the new Regional Advocacy Advisor for CARE International, Ms Chikondi Chabvuta. In their welcome messages, the FANRPAN team congratulated Ms Chabvuta on her appointment, and committed to uphold the same spirit of collaboration, partnership, and commitment that they had demonstrated with her predecessor.

The FANRPAN Team consisted of Mr Francis Hale – Director of Policy Advocacy and Communication, Mrs Sithembile Mwamakamba – Director of Policy Research and Analysis, Prof Simbarashe Sibanda – Nutrition Sensitive-Agriculture Theme Leader, Dr Njongehle Nyoni – Capacity Strengthening Manager, Ms Loice Njiru – Finance & Systems Manager and Ms Kanto Razafimandimby – Policy Advocacy Officer.

The purpose of the meeting was to enable FANRPAN and CARE to introduce each other, as well as sharing updates on the ongoing work under the FANRPAN/CARE collaboration and the Climate Smart Agriculture Policy Advocacy Partnership (CSAPAP).

In her welcoming remarks, Ms Sithembile Mwamakamba chronicled the history of the mutually beneficial partnership, indicating that the relationship was in its fourth year of joint implementation, having commenced in 2017. Mr Francis Hale presented a status update of the planned activities of the collaboration.

In her response, Ms Chabvuta thanked the FANRPAN team for the introductions and project update. Having attended a number of FANRPAN-convened dialogue platforms, as well as engaging with FANRPAN staffers in other partner events, Ms Chabvuta stated that she felt at home with the FANRPAN team. Her initial exposure to FANRPAN’s engagements had awakened her to the network’s sphere of influence, and the credibility that FANRPAN brings when advancing the different strands of work, especially the work on Climate Change.

Riding on the partnership and FANRPAN’s priviledged position amongst the stakeholder base, requested that the partners explore the possibility of jointly assisting both national and regional governments to convene dialogues aligned to the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit. FANRPAN received this proposal well and shared the other platforms that they are involved with in support of the Food Systems Summit. These included the collaborative webinar series with the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA), and the respective sub-regional research organisations. This multi-stakeholder engagement yielded a policy brief focused on the necessary interventions to support agricultural research for development (AR4D) and will be submitted to the Summit as One Africa Voice on AR4D. Further, FANRPAN presented the ongoing collaboration with AKADEMIYA 2063, also aligned to the Food Systems Summit. The FANRPAN team committed to sharing the policy brief and the dialogue concept on the ongoing processes with Ms Chabvuta.

In her closing remarks, Ms Chabvuta expressed confidence that CARE and FANRPAN will continue to strengthen their working relationship. To that end, she wanted the teams to start engaging for the 2021 to 2022 partnership agreement as soon as their internal planning cycles had come to a conclusion.