The African Potato Association (APA) conference 2016 will be held between October 9th and 16th in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The APA was established 30 years ago and organizes triennial conferences on sweetpotato and potato research in Africa. The conferences provide a platform for sharing and exchanging research information, knowledge, experience and learning between countries and researchers from different areas of potato and sweetpotato. The APA gives delegates the chance to showcase different technologies, practices and findings on the potato and sweetpotato value chains and encourages collaboration and networking.
In the last few years, the scope of the APA conferences has broadened to include members of the private sector and key global players who are looking for opportunities to invest in the potato sector.
Dr. Elmar Schulte-Geldermann, the Leader of Seed Potato for Africa Program at the International Potato Center (CIP), and CIP Representative to the APA observed: “The APA started putting together bi-annual newsletters to facilitate members become more active beyond the conferences, so that it would provide a linkage mechanism that updates members on current issues and encourages conversations.” The newsletter has kept members in the sector clued in on important topical matters.
Dr. Schulte-Geldermann expressed his optimism in the future of the APA. “The APA will continue to highlight key areas of focus and bring together key actors to address strategic issues. We hope for continued support from our donor communities to ensure the opinion leaders of science and practice continue to meet.” he quipped.
This year’s conference expects to attract over 200 delegates from all over the world. The 4-day conference will culminate in field trips to selected locations in Ethiopia where potato and sweetpotato initiatives are making an impact in the lives of local farmers and the nation.