Continental Steering Committee

At the Continental level, the initiative has well established Continental Steering Committee chaired by African Union. The CSC is the apex in the governance structure of EOA in Africa. The SC members serve to provide EOA in Africa and its membership with guidance, oversight, and decision-making regarding the operations and activities of EOA in Africa. SC members are appointed to serve on behalf of their institutions, not as individuals, and agree to represent the general interests of their sector.

The Continental Steering Committee (CSC) supports the EOA Initiative in meeting its objectives by:

  • Acting as a bridge between the EOA Secretariat and the African Union Commission
  • Providing advice, guidance, and oversight over implementation of EOA Action Plan
  • Tracking progress of EOA projects

The 23 Member Continental Steering Committee includes representatives of:

  • African Union Commission (1) – Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) (Chair of the committee)
  • Regional Economic Communities (2) – Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and East African Community (EAC)
  • Farmer-based Organizations (1) – To be regularly rotated to include other regional farmers’ organizations. For now Farmers Organization of Southern Africa (SACAU) holds the membership
  • NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (1)
  • Civil Society Organizations (1) – Action Aid is to be contacted to provide a representative from their network.
  • EOA Lead Organizations for donor-funded projects (2) – Biovision Africa Trust and PELUM Kenya
  • African Research Institutions (1) – FARA can be asked to sit in for the first three years
  • Private sector (1) – A representative is to be provided by Mr. Komla Bissi of AUC
  • African Organic Network (AFRONET) (1)
  • African Academic Institutions (1) – Association of African Universities (AAU) shall be contacted to provide an academic institution to serve on the committee
  • EOA Regional Clusters (5) – for East Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, North Africa, and South Africa
  • Development Partners (2) – SDC and SSNC
  • An Indigenous African Organic Certification Body (1) – UGOCERT
  • International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) (1)
  • Representative of Women in Organic Agriculture (1)
  • National Ecological Organic Agriculture Institutions in Africa (2) – National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), and Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria (NOAN)

Continental Steering Committee Secretariat

The Secretariat provides support to the Continental Steering Committee (CSC) and its subcommittees at the direction of the CSC. Support includes planning and organizing CSC meetings; organizing periodic EOA events as determined by the CSC, promoting communication and linkages between the CSC, subcommittees, and members and developing Africa-wide information sharing tools, including a website. Currently Biovision Africa Trust has been appointed by the CSC members to host the secretariat for 5 years.

Regional Platforms

The EOA Initiative currently has 3 Regional Platforms one in West Africa,  in Eastern Africa and Southern Africa. The Regional Platforms are steered and coordinated by Regional Steering Committees (RSC) having been established to to manage the Regional Platforms. The Southern Africa cluster in place but not very much actively involved because of lack of financial support.

The committees work is coordinated by Regional secretariats that have been set up in the regions.

Pelum Kenya Association, based in Kenya, is the host organization for Eastern Africa Regional Secretariat,Organisation Béninoise pour la Promotion de l’Agriculture Biologique (PABE/OBEPAB), based in Benin, is the host organization for West Africa Regional Secretariat while Namibian Organic Association hosts the Southern Africa Secretariat

The role of the regional clusters is coordinating regional actors in the region to implement the EOA agenda, engaging with the Regional Economic RECs to integrate EOA in regional and national policy and programs to improve their livelihoods, mobilizing resources from partners to support EOA activities in their clusters, developing own rules of procedures and operations in the management of the clusters. The roles are broken down in details as follows:

  • Review reports from National EOA Platforms
  • Awareness rising, advocacy and lobbying for EOA agenda, brand and profile at regional levels
  • Fundraising and soliciting support for regional EOA initiatives
  • Program development and implementation at regional level
  • Ensure wide stakeholder participation in EOA Initiative at regional level
  • Review reports from National EOA Platforms
  • Prepare reports for the EOA steering committee

National Platforms

The National Platforms bring together various stakeholders involved in ecological organic agriculture at the national level. They are forums that convene, facilitate, advise and monitor progress of implementation of EOA in general, and Organic Agriculture in particular. Generally, the National Platform is an open forum of multi-stakeholders interested in supporting EOA development in any country in Africa .The national platforms promote specific strategic actions such as organizing policy formulation competitions among high school or undergraduate students, awarding farmers for outstanding performance or politicians for their pro-EOA political work. With experience they may as well formulate benchmarks for “good” policy work in the various agro sectors. This enhances implementation of the EOA initiative with strong integration and synergy across pillars and sectors. The platforms expect to become visible and recognized actors ensuring professional quality in management of the project.

The roles of National Platforms include:

  • Streamlining EOA’s operations at Country Level
  • Rallying of partners/actors in EOA
  • Facilitating the sharing of achievements, lessons and experiences
  • Supporting/lobbying of policy change, investment plans, etc.
  • Shaping the national EOA agenda
  • Facilitating selection of and support to Country Lead Organizations (CLOs)

Membership of the National Platforms includes representatives of:

  • Agriculture and other relevant sector ministries
  • Research and Educational Institutes
  • Private sector
  • Civil Society Organizations
  • Farmer Organizations
  • Development Partners
  • Policy Institutes
  • Certification and regulatory agencies
  • Development Partner which will be open to who may wish to join