Knowledge is at the heart of Sustainable Development. Today’s societies are characterized by a predominant and still growing share of knowledge work at all levels of institutions. Knowledge is essential because it supports decision making, evidence-based planning and increases institutional credibility. Knowledge is critical for research organisations because research is an essential component in generating knowledge. The role of AR&D institutions in knowledge generation towards Africa’s agenda in halving poverty by 2025 through the CAADP Malabo commitment as well as contributing to the SDGs 2030 cannot be overemphasized.
According to Knowledge for Development Partnership (K4DP), understanding the nature of knowledge, knowing how to manage knowledge professionally, and continuously advancing knowledge is essential for agricultural growth and development at the individual, organizational, and societal levels. Knowledge is a primary resource of societies – dynamically changing through several drivers like globalization, digitalization, specialization, and more ( (K4DP, 2018). A competent, targeted, and integrated approach to knowledge in societies is necessary to achieve the CAADP commitments, the SDGs and National Development Plans. Unfortunately, many countries and institutions are still struggling to manage huge amounts of knowledge to demonstrate evidence of progress towards the Malabo Targets and the SDGs.
Abugri (2020) identified three main drivers to enable Africa to achieve the CAADP Malabo Commitments 2025 and the SDGs by 2030 with the required evidence, namely: (i) capacity building in Knowledge Management, (ii) institutionalization of KM products and (iii) implementation of KM products aligned with sustainable development goals. Therefore, a lot of efforts will require concrete knowledge management efforts in building the appropriate country-level capacities, coordinating the right networks/partnerships for collaborating, learning, and sharing, and ensuring that the right information exists at the right place, in the right form and at the right time.
The 2021 Accra Declaration on KM4AgD Agenda for Africa
In July 2017, the CAADP-XP4 organizations (FARA, AFAAS, CORAF, CCARDESA, CCARDESA, NAASRO) and other continental, regional and national agricultural stakeholders, rolled out the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A) as an African-owned instrument for achieving the CAADP target of doubling agricultural productivity by 2025. This led to the development of a continental knowledge management strategy including the FARADataInformS as an observatory for Africa Agriculture linking with Knowledge hubs of the SROs and AFAAS. With the EC DeSIRA funding support in 2019, FARA and the CAADP-XP4 partners jointly initiated the Knowledge Management for Agricultural Development (KM4AgD) Challenge in July 2021 as part of the implementation of the seven recommendations from the “Akosombo Integration Agenda” for agricultural development, published by FARA as the Continental Data Capture Strategy. The 2021 Continental Conference on Knowledge Management for Agricultural Development (KM4AgD) was the climax of the first year Challenge. The Conference was hybrid in nature and had about 377 representatives from 44 organisations in over 28 countries in Africa and 3 countries in Europe met in Accra, Ghana from 6th to 10th December 2021. Thirty (30) participants from 20 countries who successfully completed all requirements of the 3 months Challenge were jointly awarded as “Knowledge Managers for Sustainable Development” by the CAADP-XP4 Partners, K4DP and Partner Universities (Makerere University & International University of Namibia) and GFAR (FAO). Again, about 20 draft National Knowledge Management Policies, 26 organizational Knowledge management Strategies and 10 thematic Knowledge briefs were developed by participants of the 2021 Challenge. These were presented at the maiden Conference in Accra and some countries (eg. Ghana, Tanzania, Eswatini, Uganda, etc) have started implementing their strategies.
The Accra Declaration on KM4AgD agenda for Africa (below), developed by participants and experts during the 2021 Challenge and jointly ratified by leaders of the CAADP-XP4 institutions, identified ten (10) major areas of concern to guide institutions mainstream KM4AgD to help accelerate AR4D in Africa and beyond and sets the foundation for Knowledge-Based Societies in Africa.
 The Knowledge for Development Partnership (K4DP) is a non-profit organisation (NGO) and was founded under Austrian law at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on 3 April 2017 during the United Nations “Knowledge for Development: Global Partnership Conference”.
The 2022 KM4AgD Challenge & Conference is therefore a continuation of the 2021 edition but with more focus on new countries and institutions. In addition to existing objectives, it will also seek to develop a KM4AgD Impact pathway for each of the 10 agenda items. Further support will also be given to the 2021 countries who have initiated activities to mainstream their National Policies and Organizational Strategies within their respective countries.