World Science Day for Peace and Development, celebrated on November 10th every year, serves as a global reminder of the critical role that science plays in promoting peace and sustainable development for the current and future generation. The 2023 theme is building trust in science. Enhancing trust in science strengthens science-based policy decisions and society’s support for implementation. World Science Day for Peace and Development therefore not only highlights the important role of science in society, but also the need to engage diverse stakeholders on emerging scientific issues, and the importance of science in our daily lives.
During the month of October FSNet-Africa hosted a three-day Stakeholder Engagement Dialogue (16 to 18 October 2023) to provide a platform for the FSNet-Africa research fellows to showcase their research findings and engage with a broad range of stakeholders to maximise the uptake of their work into policy and practice. Research plays a fundamental role in food systems transformation, as shown by the UN Food Systems Summit, where specific days were dedicated to science.
On the 16th of October, in celebration of World Food Day, one of the sessions for the Stakeholder Engagement Dialogue focused on governing African food systems. The session included conversations on what comes after the UN SDGs by providing an African perspective on how researchers collaborate with communities and others in setting and implementing global, continental, and African agendas. During the session, participants collaboratively developed a ‘call to action’ poster (shown below), highlighting the commitment of stakeholders involved in this discussion.
In the context of governing African food systems and the imperative to “leave no one behind“, science becomes a crucial ally in achieving peace and development. There is need to collaboratively drive sustainable agricultural practices, improve food security and nutrition, and ensure that the benefits of scientific progress are accessible to all. As we celebrate World Science Day for Peace and Development, lets us reaffirm our commitment to using science as a force for transforming food systems in an inclusive manner.