AFAAS AEW is an open event; however, there will be a transparent and inclusive pre-selection of participants. AFAAS launched a drive for mobilising funding for the event and so far commitments have been made from the European Union – AFAAS Multi Donor Trust Funds- MDTF, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, (IFAD) the Government of South Korea, SASAE and the Republic of South Africa. The key participants in the AEW include: AEAS providers from public (Ministry of Agriculture officials especially Directors[1] of Extension from the 40 member countries) and private sectors[2] (e.g. Telecommunications companies, agro processors) as they will be given space to exhibit their innovations, Farmers, fishermen/folks, farmer based organisations, NGOs, as well as institutions and programmes actively involved in Agricultural and Rural Development will be invited to attend.  Staff of the Ministries of Agriculture, who form part of AFAAS General Assembly, and are critical for policy influence in their respective countries, while equally central for the growth of AFAAS network.

For the selection process, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Regional Planning Committee are the mandated organs, with a dedicated Selection Committee constituted from the above organs.  In the selection process there shall be a regional balance within Africa. There will also be a consideration for international AEAS professionals, who have high capacity and profile in sharing AEAS knowledge. As a guiding criteria in selection participants, emphasis shall be placed on: Youth and gender considerations; level of contribution to the AEAS knowledge pool in the AEW theme; active role in national, regional and global AEAS activities; ability to positively influence national AEAS policies, institutions and programmes; and ability to fully self-support or partly support own participation among others. The Government of the Republic of South Africa (RSA), through its Ministry of Agriculture; Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries together with the South African Society for Agricultural Extension (SASAE) shall host the event and share their vast experience in Agriculture. IFAD representative Ms. N Zwane who is based in Southern Africa is involved and is key in the LOC.

Furthermore, the engagement and participation of Development Partners like IFAD, EU, USAID, SDC, among others has been instrumental in AEW, not only in terms of financial support but through sharing global good practices, therefore targeted invitations have been sent and others shall be sent by end of August 2017. Other regional partners like FAO, CGIAR, CTA, FARA, AGRA, SASAKAWA Africa Association, global projects among others. Given the diversity of participants and in order to facilitate communication, translation in English and French will be provided. In some side events translations to South African local languages may also be provided.

[1] IFAD support shall be used to support participation of Directors / Managers of extension mainly from the Ministries of Agriculture.

[2]  Targeted invitations shall be sent to private actor especially in agricultural value chains. AFAAS will also liaise with Africa Agribusiness incubation Network to moblise private sector participation.