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					                                       AFRICAN UNION

                                      UNION AFRICAINE

                 Semi–Arid Africa Agricultural Research and Development
       Recherche et Développement Agricoles dans les Zones Semi-Arides de l’Afrique

                                      Conference on:
              Development of Rural Livelihoods in Semi-Arid Africa:
                        Issues, Challenges, Opportunities

The African Union’s specialized technical office for the promotion of agricultural
research for development in semi-arid areas (AU/SAFGRAD), in collaboration with
partner institutions, is organising a two days ‘Conference on Development of Rural
Livelihoods in Semi-arid Africa’1. The Conference is scheduled to take place on 29-30
April 2008, and will be hosted at the African Union Commission Head Quarters in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia.

The conference brings together producers, policy makers, researchers, development
practitioners and strategic partners, etc., with a view to (a) defining key issues that
engender rural livelihood processes in semi-arid Africa, (b) ensuring that designed
responses adequately address those issues, and (c) formulating a strategy for an effective
and synchronized intervention that facilitates the transformation of rural livelihood
processes in semi-arid Africa.

Specific Objectives of the Conference are to:

     identify and document relevant actors and enhance networks and forums that are
      actively involved in development of rural livelihood in semi-arid areas;
     define major developmental issues, challenges and opportunities surrounding rural
      livelihood processes in semi-arid Africa;

    This initiative is consistent with the objectives of the Thematic Programme Network on the promotion of
    sustainable agricultural farming systems in the framework of the African Regional Action Programme
    (TPN6) of the UNCCD to combat desertification, for which AU/SAFGRAD has been designated the
    institutional focal point.
     translate elements of strategic responses and investments (e.g., the CAADP
      framework, Sirte decisions) to effectively address the key development issues of rural
      livelihood in semi-arid Africa; and
     develop a strategy and action plan that could serve as a common platform for building
      and sustaining a broader coalition of actors in agricultural and rural development in
      semi-arid Africa.

Expected Outcomes of the Conference2
   The conference is expected to contribute towards the achievement of the following

          Shared understanding on strategic issues, among actors, determining rural
           livelihood processes in semi-arid Africa;
          Enhanced design and implementation of policy, technological, institutional, etc.,
           investments to effectively respond to identified and prioritized issues for
           development of rural livelihoods in semi-arid Africa.
          Enhanced strategic partnerships and networking to facilitate the addressing of the
           strategic issues – in terms of aligned, synchronized and synergized efforts;

      Major Conference Structure

           1. Presentation of a background paper and subsequent deliberations covering
              issues of:
                   Land and Water access & management
                   Productivity, technology, innovation
                   Policies and institutions
                   Markets (access, performance, etc.)
                   Local capacity strengthening
                   Climate change and desertification

           2. Panel discussion
                  Operationalising CAADP in the context of rural livelihood processes
                     in semi-arid Africa

      Participation at the Conference:

              Participants:
                   o Members states of the African Union to be invited for representation
                       and participation.
                   o Institutions and persons who have stakes in the development of rural
                       livelihoods in semi-arid Africa.

    Relevant conference recommendations and declarations shall subsequently be taken up by the AUC for
    consideration by AU processes of decision making to ensure ownership and implementation by member
      Registration:
          o Institutions and persons who wish to participate in this important
              conference are requested to register by filling in the attached form and
              sending it by e-mail or fax to AU/SAFGRAD (address below) by
              March 21, 2008 to the latest.

For more Information, please contact conference secretariat at:

Abebe Haile Gabriel
Director, AU-SAFGRAD
261 rue de la culture
01 BP 1783 Ouagadougou 01
Burkina Faso
Tel : 22650306071 / 50311598
Fax : 226 50311586 / 50308246
Email :,

                                        Conference on
            Development of Rural Livelihoods in Semi-Arid Areas

                                       Registration form:

1. Name in full:_______________________________________________________

2. Title:__________________________________________

3. Institutional Affiliation: _________________________________

4. Responsibility within the Institution:_____________________________

5. Address in full (P.O. Box, City/Town, Telephone, Fax, E-mail, Country)





6. Nationality:________________________________

7. Sponsoring institution___________________________________________

8.      Please indicate if you wish AU/SAFGRAD to make hotel reservation for you.

261 rue de la culture, 01 B.P. 1783, Ouagadougou 01 – Burkina Faso – Tél. : (226) 50306071 / 50311598
                       Fax : (226) 50311586 / 50308246 ; e-mail :