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The strategy document, Impacting Lives Through Improved Agricultural Technologies, describes AATF's vision, mission, values and guiding principles; presents AATF's three strategic thrusts and outlines the challenges, strategies and measures of success for each one; explains how these thrusts are implemented; and discusses the organisation's structure, governance and resources.
AATF's vision is A prosperous and a food secure Africa, enabled through AATF 's catalytic role in bringing innovative technologies to smallholder farmers. Its mission and core values (integrity, dedication and accessibility) follow from this vision.
Its guiding principles recognise the urgency of helping agriculture play a stronger part in Africa's economic development, supporting an increasing role for the private sector whilst reinvigorating the contribution of the public sector in African agriculture, developing the role of proprietary technology, mitigating the risks associated with the adoption of new technology, and facilitating productive partnerships that strengthen Africa's agriculture.
AATF bases its activities on three strategic thrusts, each associated with a set of challenges, strategies, and criteria for success.
AATF pursues its long term objectives following a phased approach. AATF continuously undertakes intelligence gathering on technological breakthroughs locally and internationally with a view to generating ideas that can be nurtured into projects for addressing constraints to crop productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa (Phase 0).
Promising ideas are discussed and screened for feasibility through consultations with stakeholders, leading to the formulation of Project Business Plans (Phase 1). For each project, the Business Plan serves as a key document for guiding project implementation and the interactive mechanisms for collaborating partners during research, testing and adaptation of products as well as technologies in target areas (Phase 2) and for guiding activities critical for product deployment to reach smallholder farmers and other end users (Phase 3).
The entire process of identification, formulation and implementation of AATF projects does not follow a top-down, linear approach but adopts a flexible and iterative scheme involving periodic wide-ranging stakeholder consultations with built-in triggers for ‘go or no-go' decisions.
Structure, Governance and Resources
AATF is a not-for-profit, limited liability entity. Its governance structure creates a clear separation between the responsibility for setting and monitoring strategy and the management of operations. The management of AATF includes an executive director, a technical operations manager, a regulatory affairs manager, a legal counsel, a seed systems manager, a project manager for cowpea, a project manager for WEMA, an agribusiness specialist, a communications and partnerships manager, and an administration and finance manager. AATF's mandate requires a small but highly qualified staff and AATF 's core of technical, legal, business, communication and regulatory expertise will necessarily remain small.
AATF is supported by donor commitments for the first five years of the Foundation's life. AATF plans to use its initial funding to leverage additional contributions from other donors and from the private sector. The precise composition of AATF 's financial resources will depend to a large extent on the nature of the technologies it pursues and the pace of growth in Africa 's commercial, legal and regulatory institutions