India- Africa partnerships: capacity-building initiatives for enhancing food security, gender empowerment and clean energy
Renu Modi (University of Mumbai)
Paper short abstract:
Three Indian capacity building initiatives across Africa are examined: the role of ICRISAT, Hyderabad; SEWA (Ahmadabad, Gujarat) and the Barefoot College (Tilonia, Rajasthan), and their contribution towards enhancing food security, gender empowerment and promoting solar energy, respectively.
Paper long abstract:
This presentation offers three micro-studies on; the role of International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT, Hyderabad); the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA in Ahmadabad, Gujarat) and the Barefoot College (Tilonia, Rajasthan), and their contribution towards enhancing food security, gender empowerment and solar energy, respectively, across the African continent. ICRISAT (Hyderabad), a global agricultural research institute focuses on five nutritious, drought-tolerant crops - chickpea, pigeonpea, pearl millet, sorghum and groundnut which grow in semi- arid regions of Africa and Asia. ICRISAT has been exchanging research findings on germplasm and breeding materials with African countries to develop varieties suitable to semi- arid agro-ecologies in Africa. SEWA and the Barefoot College are both not-for-profit organizations concerned with poverty alleviation. SEWA has engaged with the empowerment of small and marginal woman farmers through enhancing food production with modern technology, and building supply and value chains. It also works towards the empowerment of female workers in the informal sector workers through social mobilization and collective action, by offering woman-to-woman learning and sharing of experiences in Africa. The Barefoot College is best known for training women, young and old, semi-literate or those unable to read and write into 'Solar Mamas': solar engineers capable of lighting their homes/streets in several countries in Africa after a short training program in Tilonia. This research is based on field visits to the above referred in organizations in India.
India's aid and soft power in Africa: connections and connectivities