African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) will hold its Senior Policy Seminar (SPS) from March 9-10, 2020 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. The event is hosted in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the CBN Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele will deliver the keynote address.

AERC’s annual Senior Policy Seminar is unique – bringing together senior policy makers from sub-Saharan African countries together with economic researchers to share knowledge and debate on urgent policy issues relating to sustainable development of African economies.

This year, the focus is Agriculture and Food Policies for Nutrition in Africa, addressing agricultural growth patterns, the burden of malnutrition, diet diversities, climate smart agricultural practices, market access, food security and the effect of agriculture on health and nutrition.

Since 2016, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AERC has implemented a number of research activities under the Analysis of the Impact of Agricultural, Food and Nutrition Policies on Nutrition Outcomes in Africa (AFPON) programme. This research is aimed at linking agricultural policies to various nutrition outcomes such as stunting, wasting, anemia, child mortality, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and malnutrition. It also examines how gender access to productive agricultural resources, such as land, affects the nutrition of individuals and households in sub-Saharan African countries; how agricultural productivity, agricultural extension and advisory services affect nutrition outcomes, and establishing the policies and practices that would best improve food security and nutritional status.

Dr. Innocent Matshe, AERC’s Director of Training stated that the seminar was going to be highly impactful for all participants. “The importance of agriculture and food policies towards positive nutrition outcomes for all Africans is vital to sustain and grow economies as we move into a new decade”, he said.
“With our unique approach of bringing topic-matter research experts in the field of agriculture and nutrition together with senior policy makers across the continent, we believe the discussions and debates will help countries across the region begin to implement policies to foster and support this sector, and to help policymakers learn from each other through shared knowledge around policy successes and failures”, Dr. Matshe added.

The two-day seminar will feature four synthesis papers and a policy roundtable discussion featuring noted researchers and policy makers, globally, including:
Prof. David Sahn of Cornell University, USA and Prof Germano Mwabu of Kenyatta University, Kenya on Agricultural Growth Patterns, Transformation, Health and Nutrition Outcomes in Africa.
Dr. Esi Colecraft of University of Ghana on Nutrition Transition and the Triple Burden of Malnutrition in Africa: Status, Determinants and Economic Welfare Costs.

Dr. Lia van Wesenbeeck of Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Dr Daniel Sarpong of University of Ghana on Diet Diversity and Nutritious Diets in Africa: Effects of Farm Input and Trade Policies and Impact Profiling.

Dr. Stephen Thornhill of University College Cork, Ireland and Dr Mekbib Haile of World Bank, USA on Combating Africa’s Malnutrition through Food, Agriculture and Targeted Policies.

Participants include high-level government officials from the presidency, ministers, governors of central banks, heads of civil services, permanent secretaries and heads of government agencies and parastatals.

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