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Innovative networking: Sharing knowledge across Africa

A Dryland Systems initiative has established three ground-breaking research for development (R4D) networks to disseminate valuable information across the important wheat-producing regions of sub-Saharan Africa.

Important research information often must travel through a network of individuals and institutions in developing countries before it can be accessed by regional producers who can benefit from it. But regional R4D networks can be an effective way to disseminate knowledge faster across regions. The newly established agro-ecology-based regional networks straddle three highly important regions: West Africa, East African Highlands, and East African Lowlands.

The West Africa regional hub and partners R4D network embraces four target countries, with Nigeria as the hub, and Niger, Mali, and Mauritania as partner countries. The East African Highlands regional hub and partner R4D network covers seven target countries with Ethiopia as the hub, and Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, and Lesotho as partner countries. The East African Lowlands regional hub and partner network comprises three target countries with Sudan as the hub, and Ethiopia and Eritrea as partner countries.

Several events were also held in the second quarter of 2014 to strengthen the three networks. A regional training course on wheat improvement in Rabat, Morocco on ‘Classical and Molecular Approaches in Wheat Breeding’ was held from April 7 to 25. An accountant training workshop was held over June 25 to 27 at Hammamet, Tunis, Tunisia to enhance the skills of SARD‑SC wheat project accountants when applying African Development Bank procedures for financial and procurement operations and reporting.

Annual review and planning meetings of the SARD-SC (Support to Agricultural Research for the Development  of Strategic Crops in Africa) Wheat Project were also held for the Highlands of East Africa and the Lowlands of East and West African member countries. These joint meetings and workshops offered participants opportunities to exchange information and experiences aimed at making project implementation work more harmonized and efficient across the countries and institutions.

For more information on SARD-SC Wheat visit: http://sard-sc-wheat.icarda.org/