A number of efforts have been made by the ICAC to set up a regional network for the English speaking countries in Africa particularly for the southern and eastern Africa countries. The East African Regional Meeting was held in September 1982 in Sudan, which was supported by the ICAC. In 1984, an effort was made to organize a meeting and form a network but only a mini meeting could be held in Tanzania in October 1984. Later, the First African Cotton Conference was held in Togo in February 1989. All these events were supported by the ICAC but nothing could be organized on regular basis.
In February 1994, ICAC organized the World Cotton Research Conference-1 in Australia where researchers from the Southern and Eastern African countries organized their meeting and decided to form the African Cotton Research Network. They elected Dr. Joe Kabissa of Tanzania as Chairman and Dr. Mary Wabule of Kenya as Vice Chair. The agreed objectives of the network were:
Review of research programs in member countries
Identification of production constraints
Avoid duplication of efforts
Coordination of research programs
Exchange of information
Sharing of research facilities
The network tried to meet but no activities were held until early 1997. At the First All African Crop Science Congress held in Pretoria, South Africa from February 13-16, 1997, the Network organized a meeting, which was again supported by the ICAC. By then the Southern and Eastern African Cotton Forum (SEACF) had become active but activities were more focused on marketing of cotton in the region. The Forum did have a Technical Committee to deal with production research.
In February 1997, Technical Committee of the SEACF and the African Cotton Research Network were merged together and jointly named as SEACF. Now SEACF is all devoted to production research while the marketing activities have slowly disappeared.
Since February 1997, a number of meetings of the SEACF have held in various countries to discuss common production research issues. The SEACF secretariat has also implemented a fast track project on cotton diseases in the member countries that was funded by the Common Fund for Commodities.
SEACF works under the auspices of the ICAC but membership is open to all cotton producing countries in the region. There is no membership fee and the forum has no legal status. The objectives remain the same as mentioned above.
Ninth Meeting of the Southern and Eastern African Cotton Forum
Dar es Salam, Tanzania, April 7-8, 2008
The Tanzania Cotton Board hosted the Ninth Meeting of the Southern and Eastern African Cotton Forum in Dar es Salam on April 7 and 8, 2008. Delegates from Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe attended the meeting in addition to a large number of researchers from Tanzania and the Head, Technical Information Section of the ICAC. The first day was devoted to technical papers while on the second an organic cotton workshop was organized in collaboration with the Organic Exchange.
It was decided that Dr. Thompson will continue as Chairman of the SEACF until the next meeting to be held in Sudan in two years.
Dr. Graham J. Thompson
Research and Technology Manager
ARC- Institute for Industrial Crops
Private Bag X 82075
Phone: 27-14-5364716, 5363150-7
Papers from the Ninth Meeting
Tenth Meeting of the Southern and Eastern African Cotton Forum
The 10th Meeting of Southern and Eastern African Forum (SEACF) was hosted by the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MACO), and the Cotton Development Trust (CDT) of Zambia. The meeting took place at a venue near Lusaka from 9-10 March 2010. Delegates from Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, CABI and ICAC attended the meeting.
The business meeting of SEACF was on 9 March, and on 10 March the workshop on "IPM in Cotton" and a field trip. As usual, during the business meeting, country representatives made presentations about the state of cotton research in their respective countries. The agenda, list of participants and papers presented are available here. The meeting decided to change the structure of the SEACF and elected Mr. West Chitah, Director, Cotton Development Trust, Zambia as the new Chairman of SEACF.
Mr. West K. Chitah
Cotton Development Trust
Work ph… 260-323-5683
work fax 260-323-0683
P. O. Box 670057
Other important decisions are;
1. The meeting decided to have the next meeting in Kenya. The Coordinator of the next meeting, nominated by the host country will serve as Vice Chairman and become chairman at the next meeting, if the host country does not object and the meeting approves it.
2. Mozambique offered to host the next SEACF meeting, in case Kenya cannot host the meeting.
3. The Secretariat of SEACF will stay in South Africa at IIC, Rustenburg and as proposed by the new Chair and approved the meeting, Dr. Graham Thompson of South Africa will serve at Forum Coordinator.
4. Structure of the program will change from the next meeting. It will be a more technical forum with scientific papers. There will be no country reports. The SEACF meeting will be a two day meeting without any specific workshop, etc.
5. It was proposed that the theme of the next meeting could be either climate change or soil health.
6. Meetings of SEACF will continue to be held every two years.
7. The Stickiness workshop issue (from 2005) was dropped from the agenda of the next meeting. Countries agreed that stickiness is not a major problem in the region anymore.
Dr. Graham J. Thompson
Coordinator, SEACF can be contacted at GThompson@arc.agric.za
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