Dr. Johanna Buchert is the newly appointed chair of the supervisory board of the FoodAfrica programme. She enthusiastically waits for the launch of the continuation phase of FoodAfrica and the new opportunities it brings along.
The FoodAfrica programme aims for improved food security in developing countries through research and capacity building. The continuation phase of the programme focuses on disseminating the results to the end-users. According to Dr. Buchert, close cooperation between Finnish and African researchers and companies is the solution to sustainable development in African developing economies.
How can business cooperation boost the sustainable development?
– Africa is full of possibilities and there’s room for many different players. Developing economies in Africa could benefit from Finnish technology import. There’s huge growth potential for e.g. diagnostic devices and tools for food safety. We need to activate both Finnish industry and the African counterpart to make this happen. After all, both parties and economies could benefit significantly from this cooperation.
How can business and research be linked with each other?
– In FoodAfrica we are currently doing research in cooperation with Finnish, African and international researchers. Industrial stakeholders need to be included in this collaboration. The key issue is to share the latest findings with potential end-users and to facilitate business case creation out of the scientific results. A strong industry interface is needed also in the FoodAfrica programme to support this.
What kind of plans does Luke have for cooperation with African developing economies in the coming years?
– Luke plans on taking a more active role in cooperation with African and international partners. In Africa we see especially East Africa as our key focus area. Luke’s knowledge on forestry, food and agriculture can bring together many players and will result in successful and well-coordinated cooperation.
Cooperation between business and research is one of the topics that will be discussed in the FoodAfrica seminar on global food security in Helsinki 12 April 2016.