We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
Two years on from its inception, the activities, achievements and way forward for the Pan African Network for Economic Analysis of Policies (PANAP) are presented today at the African Union (AU) – European Union (EU) agriculture ministerial conference.
Set up in 2019 to share knowledge and help inform agricultural policy with solid analysis, PANAP has already delivered ground-breaking research and tools, such as using crowd-sourced data to track food prices and food security during the coronavirus pandemic.
The network has also helped deliver economic analyses of specific agricultural policies, from irrigation systems in Niger to tax reform options in Tanzania.
The JRC and the AU Commission’s department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment (ARBE) were tasked with setting up and coordinating PANAP at the last AU-EU Ministerial Conference in 2019. The network has since grown to include researchers and analysts from 19 institutions based in eight different African countries.
Following the initial thinking and plan, PANAP has been focusing on working with African research institutions on economic analysis of agricultural policies, and sharing that evidence to help inform decision-making.
Several events and research projects exploring the potential impact of policies already are completed. Most of these have either focused on country-level analysis and analysis at the level of the ‘socio-economic agent’: in most cases farm households.
There are several strands of ongoing research too. The first results of research on the potential effects of the African Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA) will soon be presented, showing the potential impact of AfCFTA on aspects of agri-food systems such as production, trade and employment.
PANAP is also planning a series of studies at national level, with local research institutes, to analyse detailed impacts of AfCFTA in several countries and support the spread of evidence-informed policy analysis.
Several country-specific research projects are also in the pipeline. One example is research on the economic implications of the Sustainable Cocoa initiative in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroun. The analysis addresses all sustainability dimensions in the cocoa supply chain, focusing on poverty, deforestation and child labour. Preliminary results are expected in 2022.
In 2019, during the 3rd AU – EU agriculture ministerial conference hosted by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, an action agenda was defined, which includes the creation of PANAP.
PANAP will have a members meeting in November 2021 to take stock of ongoing collaborations and to explore expanding the participation to other research centres in African countries.