Panel 13

Engaging Africa Diaspora in Knowledge Transfer through Networking

Panel organisers: Linley Chiwona-Karltun, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU. Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora (AAAPD), Europe Division and Fred Asiegbu, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland. Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora (AAAPD), Europe Division.

E-mail: Linley.Chiwona.Karltun@slu.se

There is consensus that collaboration, partnerships and networks can be powerful tools for bringing about change through the sharing of ideas, experience, knowledge and skills. In today’s society, one is inundated with information through various traditional and social media platforms using mobile phones, Facebook, snapchat, twitter and WhatsApp groups, networking is a fundamental component for being successful. According to studies in organizational behavior networking ability is not only important for career success — "networking is also crucial for getting things accomplished and making change inside organizations in both the public and private sector." One well-known example is LinkedIn the world's largest professional network with hundreds of millions of members. LinkedIn’s mission is to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. The Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora (AAAPD) is an organization founded in 2008 and launched in 2010 at the World Bank, DC with the assistance of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It comprises a database of multi-disciplinary African Professionals in the Diaspora, many of them academicians, researchers, extension specialists, agricultural economists and development agents. AAAPD’s mission is to provide a platform for collaboration and partnerships to share and exchange information in agricultural research, extension, training through dialogue to enhance African smallholder farmers productivity and rural development.  In this panel, we will discuss how the Africa Diaspora is contributing to building collaborations, partnerships and knowledge networks in academia as well as the use of ICT in profiling and fostering distance learning. The session will also debate issues that may strengthen the power of partnerships and networking between Africa Diaspora and African scholars. This session welcomes papers that go beyond the general debate on African Diaspora and their role in Africa’s development by identifying specific niches where their participation is marginal. In the process, we aim to build bridges between African agricultural institutions with other partners. This bridge could play pivotal roles in the transference of knowledge, technology and collaborative efforts.

There is consensus that collaboration, partnerships and networks can be powerful tools for bringing about change through the sharing of ideas, experience, knowledge and skills. In today’s society, one is inundated with information through various traditional and social media platforms using mobile phones, Facebook, snapchat, twitter and WhatsApp groups, networking is a fundamental component for being successful. According to studies in organizational behavour networking ability is not only important for career success — "networking is also crucial for getting things accomplished and making change inside organizations in both the public and private sector." One well-known example is LinkedIn the world's largest professional network with hundreds of millions of members. LinkedIn’s mission is to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. The Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora (AAAPD) is an organization founded in 2008 and launched in 2010 at the World Bank, DC with the assistance of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It comprises a database of multi-disciplinary African Professionals in the Diaspora, many of them academicians, researchers, extension specialists, agricultural economists and development agents. AAAPD’s mission is to provide a platform for collaboration and partnerships to share and exchange information in agricultural research, extension, training through dialogue to enhance African smallholder farmers productivity and rural development.  In this panel, we will discuss how the Africa Diaspora is contributing to building collaborations, partnerships and knowledge networks in academia as well as the use of ICT in profiling and fostering distance learning. The session will also debate issues that may strengthen the power of partnerships and networking between Africa Diaspora and African scholars. This session welcomes papers that go beyond the general debate on African Diaspora and their role in Africa’s development by identifying specific niches where their participation is marginal. In the process, we aim to build bridges between African agricultural institutions with other partners. This bridge could play pivotal roles in the transference of knowledge, technology and collaborative efforts.

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