it is with great pleasure that we announce that after a meeting with Ondernemers voor Ondernemers and VITO, a European independent research and technology organisation in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development, elaborating solutions for the large societal challenges of today. Both organizations are bringing together their expertise to insure the candidates for this call, get the best support to actualize their entrepreneurial projects.
We will be putting out a call for project in February for the African Diaspora Projects Initiative focusing on sustainable technology for Africa. We appreciate the fact that many European organization now recognize the importance of African Diasporas in the development of Africa.
We will soon provide you with more details.
The Food Bridge was honoured to present aspects of African food culture as part of the partnership with the BigPicnic project during the official opening of the new glasshouse of the Botanic garden Meise. The event started with the Igbo kolanut rites and sharing of palm wine. The participants at the Afrikot corner also tasted various delicious fried root crops such as yam, cassava, sweet potatoes and also plantain. The refreshing bissap juice from Talina was presented by Eva Ba at the event. The invited guests were given a guided tour of the new tropical garden in the glass house which contains many food crops, important in the African food system
The new book by the founder of The Food Bridge vzw Maureen Duru is now available. Published by Peter Lang with the support of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, this book provides insight into the modern African migrations, diaspora communities and how they use food to sustain their sense of identity in their host country. Using their foodways the book also examines the challenges and resources available to migrants as they settle into new comunities. Attention is given to identity sustaining rites and habits, gender roles, inter racial and inter generational interactions.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, our proposed African Diaspora Agro-food Forum 2017 has been postponed. We will keep people informed of any new developments. We are still working hard to insure the set aims of the event are realized.
Mr Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant Secretary General of the ACP Group of States, will be the keynote Speaker at the African Diaspora Agro-Food Forum 2017. Some of the people billed to speak at this forum include Mr Björn Macauter, General Manager Ondernemers voor Ondernemers, Mr Alpha Diallo of Africa Paid who will be sharing his experience as an African Diaspora investor in the Agro-food sector in Senegal, Ms Eva Ba of Ségal, will also speak on her experience and business projects in the food sector in Belgium. We also have more people from food agencies, customs services, development agencies and African food businesses in Europe.
We are happy to announce that Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs, our partners for the African projects initiative have started the process of helping some of the African entrepreneurs selected at the event. Dr Suzanne Awung of The Forgotten Green Heroes has submitted her business plan for an agro -food project in Cameroon and is working with the staff of Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs to make this project a reality. Ms Zilipa of Solidev's coffee and mushroom projects in Rwanda were also selected and we will keep you updated as these projects progress.
More projects from this initiative are billed to get support from Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs, those selected will be informed in the near future.
The Food Bridge vzw is partnering with the National Botanical Garden Meise Belgium, for a new project "My Food-Your Food". This is part of a Horizon 2030 project with 19 other Botanical Gardens called the BigPicnic, with activities througout the year.
The Food Bridge vzw is meeting on the 3rd of May 2017 at GC De Platoo Brussels with heads of African Diaspora organizations with projects in the agro-food sector. This is in preparation for an initiative by The Food Bridge to help agro-food projects access social funds. On the 1st of June 2017, there will be an opportunity for entrepreneurs with projects in the global south to present these to experts using a speed dating approach. Selected projects will be supported with business plan, market research and finally funds. We will post more details later.
The Food Bridge vzw joined other stakeholders at the first Agenda /community meeting for the 2017 European Development Days. The theme for this year is "Investing in Development". The themes our work focus on, such as food security,agro-food,rural development, women empowerment and many more, will again be part of the EDD17 discussions.
The Food Bridge vzw at this event also raised it's concerns over the challenges external participants face, with regards to registration and having enough time to process their visas. In her response Ms Annie Martinez Alonso,Team Leader Events and Public Relations DG Devco European Commission stated that last year, they had to follow the guidlines of the security agencies. Although she stated that the same will also apply this year, however the registration process will start early enough to enable those from outside Europe be part of the event. We hope many from the developing world will take advantage of the opportunity the EDD 17 offers for networking and knowledge sharing.