AfroMaison and the Joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership

The Joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, endorsed at the December 2007 Summit in Lisbon, is a political vision and roadmap for the future cooperation between the two continents in existing and new areas. Cooperation between Europe and Africa in the field of science and technology, with its long and multifaceted history, is one of the pillars supporting the increasingly diverse relationship between our two continents and is a strand running both explicitly and implicitly through the joint strategy and its first action plan.

In 2009 the FP7-AFRICA-2010 call has been launched aiming to address some of the Science & Technology objectives of the 'Africa - EU Strategic Partnership' putting emphasis on 'Water and Food Security' and 'Better Health for Africa'. The call is implemented through cross-thematic collaboration involving Theme 1 Health, Theme 2 Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnologies and Theme 6 Environment (including climate change) and has a multi-disciplinary approach involving various scientific and technological research fields, such as food, agriculture, health, land and water resources, including their interaction with climate change, which have to be considered within an integrated scheme, and, where appropriate at river basin scale, building on existing knowledge and considering demographic changes, globalisation processes and sustainability.

The call intends principally to strengthen local capacities in the relevant science and technology fields and their applications, also through appropriate training activities and exchange of staff. The final outputs should provide amongst others, innovative management and governance tools and adaptive technologies suitable for the relevant authorities and stakeholders for providing contributions to reduce poverty, increase food security, academic training and health research networks, manage water more efficiently and protect natural ecosystems in Africa. The participation of local stakeholders, and/or regional actors, and the necessary networking, is considered of paramount importance to achieve the expected impact.

It is under the FP7-AFRICA-2010 call (Activity 6.2 Sustainable management of resources) that AfroMaison has been funded. Following the specifications of the call (ENV.2010. ‘the outcome of the project should be a tool-box for both integrated natural resources management that could be used in a variety of environmental and socio-economic conditions in Africa and assess potential future scenarios as well as proposed policies and programmes, the expected impact is a long-term integrated management of natural resources in line with sustainable development principles and a better capacity for assuring the economic and social well being at local and regional levels.’

To further the overall objectives of the FP7-AFRICA-2010 call, relevant projects selected from each topic will establish synergies between them to enhance complementarities in the implementation phase. AfroMaison is taking part in this clustering initiative within the thematic cluster of project related to environmental management. The mission of our cluster – inspired by the Joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership – is to enhance collaboration of research in Africa, and exploit synergies amongst involved EU-AU partners. The cluster’s objectives are to support thematic priorities between EU-AU collaboration, to contribute to major events and to pave the way for science policy practice.

This clustering initiative will furthermore be linked The CAAST NET which objective it is to contribute to more effective dissemination of the Africa research (Sub-Saharan).