The Africa Directors Meeting is an annual event organized by IAAS Africa with an aim of uniting students from Africa to together solve food crisis in Africa for Africa and to bring the responsibles of African IAAS committees together to discuss ideas of improvements for IAAS in their region. The event with a strong and long background in West Africa was held in East Africa for the first time this year.
This year’s ADM sought to appreciate the fact that the youth are embracing technology and therefore determining how the said youth can use technology to improve agricultural production for food security in Africa.
The 6 day event was divided into 2 parts, a conference at Egerton University and a Summer School in Maseno University and University of Nairobi.
Participants were drawn from mainly Africa and few others from Europe. African countries that participated included Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, South Africa, Benin and Niger. The Europeans were represented by a lady from Germany and three gentlemen from Greece.
This is an IAAS constitutional event which takes place during the regional meetings of directors such as ADM. This year’s IAAS Africa GA was overseen by the vice president of External Relations Mr. Konstantine Sarafis from Greece.
Results of the GA was as follows:
1. Elected Regional Director- Ramdane from IAAS Benin
2. Elected Regional Exchange Coordinator – Franck Herve from IAAS Côte d’Ivoire
3. Country to host ADM 2017 is IAAS Zimbabwe
A number of prepositions were put across with the aim of bettering IAAS Africa, these included:
1. To have Sub-Regions in Africa
2. To introduce Sub-Regional Directors
3. The National and Regional Directors to be given a kitty to manage
4. To have a regional headquarter for IAAS Africa in Africa, Tunisia
These and other propositions were minuted and forwarded for discussions during the World Congress in 2017 to be held in Mexico.
ADM 2016 was made up of two main activities. These were a conference at Egerton University and Summer School in University of Nairobi and Maseno University.
The conference was scheduled from 1st to 3rd December 2016 at the Education complex of Egerton University. Here, participants shared research findings, ideas, innovations and research work on areas of the theme and sub theme. The theme of the conference was “The role of Technology in Agricultural Development in Africa-impact of the youth.” Sub themes included:
1. The impact of mobile phones and computing technologies on agricultural production
2. The importance of biotechnology in agricultural production
3. The role of mechanical technology in agricultural advancement.
4. The role of print and electronic media in enhancing agricultural production.
The conference also included keynote speeches from the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and other invited professionals in the field of agriculture.
The summer school was an exposition aimed at benchmarking the academic and co-curricular activities among the universities across Africa and Europe. The programme was modelled in form of field visits and debate in Maseno University and UoN respectively. These was to allow enough time for the participants to interact. Debate at UoN was never a good success due to limiting time.
In summary, ADM 2016 was a great experience for IAAS Kenya both as an organizer and host. The events created a good lesson to us and we are better placed to even host bigger events having the mistakes we did in mind. We appreciate all participants, partners and sponsors who making the event a success.