HOLD THE DATE: AFRICAN FOOD SYSTEMS CONFERENCE IN CAMEROON 3-5 NOVEMBER 2018

Venue: Yaoundé, Cameroon

Date: November 3-5, 2018

Organization:Organized by Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative for Africa (EOA-I), AfrONet, IFOAM – Organics International and others.

A 3-day conference on the future of food systems in Africa and the launch of a continental campaign on an agenda to be identified during the process of preparation. The first two days will focus on the five thematic areas mentioned below. On the third day, the participants will join with the participants of an organic agriculture conference which follows the Food Systems event. The combined participants on the third day will number between 400 – 500, depending on resources, and the day will be used to launch the campaign as well as to share the outcome of the first two days.

Purpose of the Conference: Promote the complexity, diversity and nutritional value of African food systems and launch an action plan and declaration for change for better food systems geared towards the general public and policymaking bodies including the AU[1]and the RECs[2].

Participants:The conference will bring together research and development networks, key experts in the workshop’s thematic areas, food producers, consumer associations, youth, women, research institutions, media, governments, and non-governmental organizations working at global, regional and national level on the linkages between food production, nutrition and health.  A diverse participation is envisaged to bring diverse views and opinions and it is anticipated that the conference will attract 200 participants from across Africa and further afield. Simultaneous translation (English/French) will be organized. A conference report will be available in both English and French.

Facilitation:The conference will be facilitated through art. There will be very minimal or no presentation of papers. This is because decision makers, as facilitators of change, need to be shown the multiple possibilities that can steer social behaviour in a positive way and nudge people in the direction of a better, healthier and more sustainable tomorrow. Art is a factor of social cohesion and human development. Art provides a canvas to work creatively on these issues, to think about them in different ways, and to imagine and paint a world in which no limitations and restrictions exist. Art can be a catalyst for innovation, simplifying the issues and generating achievable, realistic solutions. Art in its essence can give shape, texture and structure to imagination. It can inspire process and progress, and provide a simpler and clearer viewpoint on problematic topics. Moreover, it provides space for experiment and curiosity, unfolding unlimited possibilities. Social change is about reworking the ideas and realities of the current society and creating something that can change how people see the world, how they interact, and how they feel.

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