There are five thematic areas that are considered to be priority and most relevant to the food systems/climate change nexus in Africa to focus the collaborative research activities of the ACCAI Network. These are:
1. Rural-rural, rural-urban migration, urbanisation and food systems change
2. Indigenous Crops/ Indigenous Knowledge, wild foods
3. Resource conflict-Land/Water etc
4. Nutrition/ Technology, Shifting eating habits/culture
5. Fertility and Farming systems
The five thematic groups are interconnected and linked to the wider ACCAI Network activities. The Table below provides examples of the specific research topics and issues that will be investigated.
The specific research priorities for focus in the first phase of this project shall be defined jointly by the Network partners and OSF at the inception meeting (already laying the foundations of knowledge co-production). This will provide the opportunity for OSF to identify thematic areas that fit into its programme priorities and which it will fund, and the ACCAI network to agree on the other thematic areas/issues on which it will focus other fund raising efforts. At the programme inception meeting also, the Network will refine the specific research questions and constitute multidisciplinary teams of researchers from different partner institutions to deliver research under the selected themes. One partner institution shall be designated to lead each theme or sub-theme as agreed by the Network.
Based on initial concept notes developed by the individual partners, we have indicated also the partners who are currently engaged in or interested in pursuing research on particular themes. In order to promote the programme goal of enhancing climate change/food systems research capacity in Africa, the network will encourage delivery of the identified research by existing faculty within partner institutions, post-graduate (masters /doctoral level) student researchers and post-doctoral researchers.
The findings from the research will feed into the wider ACCAI network activities for further development of the network, as well as into policy debates, development interventions and global dialogues on food security and climate change issues as relates to Africa.