YALI: “SPEAR” – Sustainability, Productivity, Empowerment, Adaptation, and Resilience. Africa Needs Core Principles.

Dr. Ed Mabaya, is a renowned agricultural economist and researcher, and also one of my favorite people in the industry. He emphasized the need for a holistic approach to tackle Africa’s pressing food insecurity issues at the CALA Leadership Forum during the AGRF2023 summit. Mabaya introduced the acronym “SPEAR” representing Sustainability, Productivity, Empowerment, Adaptation, and Resilience. He stressed that these core principles are essential for transforming the continent’s food systems. Mabaya’s presentation underscored the forum’s commitment to actionable insights and solution-driven dialogues. (text references) – https://kilimokwanza.org/prof-ed-mabaya-advocates-for-spear-strategy-at-cala-leadership-forum/

The ‘M.A. thesis extract’ by GÜZİN AYCAN ÖZTÜR, Sabancı University 2017; ”The Impact of Security Sector Reform on Agriculture in Post-Conflict Countries: An Empirical AppraisalThe case of Kosovo” raises the right questions too.

The thesis departs from the idea that there is not enough academic research on the relationship among sectors constituting the whole peacebuilding/ statebuilding activities while most of academicians and practitioners value the comprehensive peacebuilding and post-conflict statebuilding to respond to the challenges in post conflict context. As a starting attempt, the thesis focuses on the possible impacts of Security Sector Reform (SSR) on agriculture in post- conflict environment. The thesis takes Kosovo as a case and examines possible positive and negative impacts of SSR on agriculture based on the hypotheses considering the engagement of security forces in rural areas, labor shifts and resource distribution. The results based on the qualitative data indicate that positive impacts are more visible while negative ones are not totally proved due to lack of data as another impediment in post- conflict context. My takeway from it was, we have seen enough by now to know as humans that we have to reform our concepts of the security sector in totality; pre – conflict, especially where it concerns agriculture. https://research.sabanciuniv.edu/id/eprint/34784/1/GuzinAycanOzturk_10156860.pdf

We have to empower communities everywhere, not only in Africa to, become self sustainable, be it by establishing a general peace garden/ vegetable garden as a community project or practice ”ubuntu” (“I am because you are” or “We are because of each other.”) by each planting one kind of a vegetable and sharing/ exchanging with others.

Nelson Mandela about some aspects of Ubuntu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_philosophy

On the web blog https://www.lionsroar.com/ Rehena Harilall shares a traditional Zulu greeting that helps her see others through the lens of compassion. “When I was a child growing up in South Africa, I’d press my hands together at my heart—in the Hindu gesture of namaste—and bow as I offered the isiZulu language greeting sawubona (we/I see you), which is usually accompanied by the response sikhona (we/I am seen). The exchange of greetings sawubona–sikhona expresses the philosophy of ubuntu. In responding “sikhona”—“we/I am seen”—we move beyond seeing ourselves just visually, as a separate self. We look through the lens of embodied compassion and see ourselves as we are—impermanent, made up of thoughts, feelings, and ancestrally transmitted traumas, all shaped by the collective context we are part of. In the sawubona–sikhona exchange, we see the rippling impact of our desires, volitions, and actions—the energy we create in the world—and acknowledge that we cannot be human alone. We are part of a shared humanity.”

The SPEAR of Dr. Ed Mabaya may therefore, be very effective if it reads: eat some, save some, share some, grow some, teach someone – to produce some.

Ubuntu reference: https://www.lionsroar.com/ubuntu-i-am-because-we-are/

Main Image:
Elephant statue with Ubuntu motif, Florianópolis, Brazil – Rachmaninoff – Own work https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_philosophy#/media/File:Elephant_parade_ubuntu_1.jpg

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