Fostering public-private partnerships to enhance smallholders’ resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa

Farmers in Kenya harvesting cow pea leaves. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre


The Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund was showcased as a proven public-private partnership at the African Green Revolution Forum 2018  


By Jonky Tenou


The African Green Revolution Forum was the biggest held on the continent, with more than 2800 participants meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, 5-8 September 2018. It was a platform for heads of state, senior officials, representatives from the private sector, staff of development and donor agencies, researchers, and members of civil society and farmers’ organizations to meet toward transforming rural life in Africa. Innovative approaches, practices and technologies were showcased, partnerships formed and policy-makers and donors engaged.

Panel discussion at the Forum.

The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) hosted an important session, moderated by the organization’s associate vice-president, Donal Brown, which registered more than 300 participants. Focusing on IFAD’s Integrated Approach Programme on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa, the session showcased the Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund as a tested public-private partnership, highlighting its innovative approaches, including large-scale payment for ecosystem services’ schemes in Kenya that benefited urban water users, such as beverage companies and power generation firms, that were willing to invest in rural areas, creating win-win opportunities.

Emerging lessons from the Water Fund, which has a budget of around USD 60 million targeting 21,000 households directly (with a further 100,000 indirectly), can inform other development agencies, national governments and companies of potential collaborative opportunities in building the resilience of smallholders’ enterprises.

The Integrated Approach Programme is funded by the Global Environment Facility, with a multi-agency program promoting sustainable management of land, soil, water, vegetation and genetic resources, that is, all the assets that underpin food security and resilience to climate change. The Programme covers 12 dryland countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.



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About the Integrated Approach Programme on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security

Financed by the Global Environment Facility, the 5-year, USD 116 million program is designed to promote sustainability and resilience among smallholders through the sustainable management of natural resources that are crucial for food and nutrition security. The International Fund for Agricultural Development is the lead agency. The program coordination unit is hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi. Partners include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Conservation International, World Bank, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and Bioversity International.

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