Agricultural education and training system capacity development for sub-Saharan Africa: The role of InnovATE
There is an urgent need to develop capacity in African agricultural education and training (AET) through innovative methods that achieve the goals of food security, economic development and poverty reduction. InnovATE (Innovation for Agricultural Training and Education) is a five year, demand-driven USAID-funded program with a mandate for capacity development in AET systems in low income and emerging economies across the world. Though innovATE’s primary focus is on formal AET, the program’s activities and findings are oriented toward developing capacity across
agricultural knowledge and information systems (AKIS), which includes agricultural extension activities. Through innovATE’s learn-design-train approach, the program has developed capacity through various activities in Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA). These have included the generation of AET system studies on countries and thematic issues, the creation of an online Community of Practice, in-country assessment of AET systems in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the provision of training workshops for capacity development in Senegal and Mozambique. Evaluating the results of these activities provides the context for critical examination of the most effective approaches for AET system capacity development in SSA.
Key words: Agriculture Education and training, AKIS, extension, InnovATE, Sub-Saharan Africa