Brussels, 14 October 2015/ CTA/ ACP: The 43rd Brussels Briefing organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), ACP Secretariat and European Commission will discuss the key challenges and new opportunities to enhance South-South and Triangular cooperation for agricultural and rural development in ACP countries.

More than 150 participants, including ACP-EU policy-makers and representatives of EU Member States, embassies of ACP countries, civil society groups, research networks and development practitioners, and international organisations based in Brussels, will take part in the briefing on 27 October at the ACP headquarters, which aims to review successes and the lessons learned from research and practice; promote the exchange of information on best practices and drivers of success; and feed into the debate various perspectives on policy options.

(Download full background note & programme)

Africa has gone through a remarkable decade of economic transformation, whereby links with traditional partners face profound changes and relations continue to develop with emerging partners. China takes centre stage, but other emerging partners together make up a larger share of many of the dealings. Africa’s top five emerging partners are China, India and Brazil — along with South Korea and Turkey.

The expanding footprint of BRICS countries in Africa, especially over the last 15 years, has remained a subject of intense public interest in academic, development and diplomatic circles. The superlative ‘win-win’ has been widely used to distinguish cooperation with BRICS countries. They set themselves apart from the West, whose aid has been criticised for being ‘conditional’; coming with ‘strings attached’.

In tandem with south-south cooperation, triangular cooperation has also emerged as a global vehicle for the provision of development assistance, particularly as emerging economy and developing countries themselves seek opportunities to engage with traditional donors and each other, as partners in the delivery of development cooperation. The OECD (2012) defines it as “a partnership where one or more providers of development co-operation support South-South co-operation, joining forces with developing countries to facilitate a sharing of knowledge and experience among all partners involved.”

Agricultural triangular cooperation has been facilitated by international organisations such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). It has partnered with the Philippines to provide Pacific island countries with technicians and experts in relation to crops, water management, livestock and fisheries. It also worked with Vietnam on a project that benefited a range of developing countries, including Benin, DRC, Madagascar, Mali and Senegal, for the provision of over 50 experts and 326 technicians who contributed to programme management, monitoring and evaluation systems implementation demonstrating new technologies, and sharing simple Vietnamese tools.

To maximise development benefits from the new partnerships, African nations can draw lessons from their cooperation with traditional partners and the successful experience of the rising economic powers. It is instrumental for African countries to seek leverage in order to turn this burgeoning opportunity for collaboration and support from Southern partners into sustainable, broad based development and shared growth.

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(Background note & programme)

Introduction: Isolina Boto, Manager, CTA Brussels Office
Introductory remarks: Patrick.I. Gomes, Secretary-General of the ACP Group of States; European Commission / EuropeAid; CIRAD; Michael Hailu, Director of CTA
Panel 1: South-South and triangular cooperation: what do we know?
This panel will review the key challenges and opportunities in South-South cooperation in agriculture and the lessons learned from research and practice.
– Is there a Chinese model cooperation in agricultural sector in sub Saharan Africa?
Jean-Jacques Gabas, Senior Researcher, CIRAD
– Cooperation between Brazil and Africa on agriculture: best practices
Erich Schaitza, Expert, EMBRAPA, Brazil
– Working with China in the Pacific: prospects for trilateral cooperation
Denghua Zhang, Researcher, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, Coral Bell School, Australian National University
– Triangular cooperation and PPPs: the key role of the private sector
Jérémy Rubel, Senior Consultant. Gannibal Consulting, France
Panel 2: Best approaches and partnerships in South-South cooperation
This panel will look at examples of Successes in South-South and triangular partnerships across the ACP.
– Food Purchase Programme (PAA) in support of Food and nutrition security
Brazil Government, FAO, DFID
– Best practices in South-South and triangular cooperation with Mexico
Carlos Cortés Zea, Expert, Mexico
– Triangular cooperation in support of conservation agriculture
Mkomwa Saidi, Executive Secretary, African Conservation Tillage Network, Kenya
– Regional trade exchanges between West Africa and Asia
ITC, OIF, West Africa and Asia producers (TB)