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YPARD’s participation in the CEA-FIRST Inception Meeting


YPARD participated in the Consortium Europe-Africa on Research and Innovation for Food Systems Transformation (CEA-FIRST) Inception Meeting held at the Alisa Hotel, Tema Ghana from February 12th to 14th, 2024. This meeting comprised the High-Level Policy Dialogue on (HLPD) Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) Working Group Meeting, the IRC Signatories Meeting, the 1st CEA-FIRST General Assembly and the 1st Steering Committee Meeting.

The 4-year project comes under the AU-EU Research and Innovation Cooperation as a follow-on Coordination Support Action to the LEAP4FNSSA that developed and launched the International Research Consortium (IRC). The IRC is intended to be the AU-EU (African Union- European Union) long-term platform to address the problem of fragmentation of research actions and in investments that has led to low impact of research outcomes.

About the IRC

The overall objective of the International Research Consortium (IRC) is to improve coordination and create synergy between the many Research and Innovation (R&I) programmes, initiatives, and actors with the aim of improving the FNSSA agenda in Africa and Europe.

The IRC is a member-based multi-actor platform working with an advocacy and outreach approach, and serves as a network of networks. It is set up as the "go-to" place for supporting initiatives, ensuring alignment with R&I FNSSA partners' strategies, preventing duplication and/or promoting complementarity with partners' initiatives.

The IRC will also serve other AU-EU policy priorities, such as the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (CCSE) and the Innovation Agenda of the HLPD, as well as the European Green Deal priorities (and in particular the Farm-to-Fork Strategy) and the AU priorities like the African Free Trade Area.

YPARD’s involvement in the CEA-FIRST Project

From left to right: Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer (DG Research & Innovation European Commission), Genna Tesdall (Director, YPARD), Oyewole Oyekunle (IITA).

YPARD and West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF), supported by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Ghana (CSIR), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD) are leading the development of the CEA-FIRST/ IRC Gender and youth specific strategies ensure the CEA-FIRST project and the IRC work are youth and gender-sensitive.

In this unique platform which brings together Africa and Europe through research, YPARD is  strategically positioned in the fight against the shared challenges that are caused by imbalances in the world– particularly those with the food and agricultural systems. We have the chance to emphasize the role of youth and gender in this work– through the strategy guiding meaningful youth and gender inclusion.


 Kofi Acquaye, YPARD Africa Regional Coordinator and Genna Tesdall, Director at the Inception meeting.


‘The CEA-FIRST project is funded by the European Union. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of YPARD and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.’