THEMATIC FOCUS AREAS
RAEIN-Africa is about the role of science, technology and innovations in sustainable development and poverty reduction, particularly in the area of agriculture and environment. We align our focus with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we acknowledge that in Africa, agriculture is key to sustainable development and poverty reduction, and that the environment is both threatened and a vulnerability factor to livelihoods.
Co-innovation for sustainable development
Our work falls into the following thematic areas – food security, nutrition security and livelihoods; climate change and biodiversity conservation, and policy and governance.
Food Security, Nutrition Security and, Livelihoods
Food and nutrition insecurity is one of the main development challenges facing many African countries. Marginalized communities in the region are continuously challenged by low crop and livestock productivity, decreasing trends in GDP, high inflation rates, low levels of innovation and investments, unpredictable climatic conditions and shortage of energy sources. Most resource constrained communities remain vulnerable to these man-made and natural shocks and stressors. Chronic food and nutrition insecurity has led to compromised well-being, hunger and malnutrition amongst the vulnerable sectors of society. RAEIN-Africa responds to these challenges by implementing a number of need-driven and sustainable interventions that address food and nutrition insecurity and enhance the resilient livelihood systems.
Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation
Africa is characterized by extreme variations in climatic conditions with increasingly frequent drought and flood events, yet most of its population derive their livelihood from this fragile environment. Limited implementation of climate adaptation and mitigation strategies has exacerbated the situation. Deforestation, over-utilization of biodiversity, and a myriad of other environmental problems now limit the capacity of the region’s fragile ecosystems to support livelihood systems. Hence, a paradigm shift is necessary to sustainably harness natural resources and address poverty, inadequate food supplies and malnutrition. Biodiversity conservation is crucial for sustainable agriculture, ecosystem functions, economic growth, and poverty reduction. With the introduction of new technologies, it is crucial to balance the intensification of agricultural productivity with the conservation of biological diversity. Thus, for RAEIN-Africa, biodiversity conservation projects, at all levels, are a priority. RAEIN-Africa projects strengthen capacities of the various stakeholders and increases the resilience of livelihood systems through:
Policy and Governance
Public participation in policy formulation and governance remains one of the key requirements for the development of an enabling policy and regulatory environment necessary for maximizing the benefits of science and technology in SADC. RAEIN-Africa has supported the establishment and development of innovation platforms on public participation in policy formulation and implementation. The platforms have proven effective in increasing the voice of the voiceless in policy formulation processes. RAEIN-Africa achieves this through increasing the capacity of the public to effectively participate, drive, and influence policy and practice.