Strategic development & agricultural growth for Africa
The African Growth and Development Policy (AGRODEP) Modeling Consortium is an initiative led by AKADEMIYA2063. AGRODEP facilitates the use of economic modeling tools, promotes access to data, provides training, research grants, and networking opportunities to a group of Africa-based experts, supporting collaboration between these Africa-based experts and international researchers.
The overarching goal of AGRODEP is to enable and support African experts to take a leading role studying strategic development issues facing Africa through (1) the study of strategic development questions facing African countries and (2) the broader agricultural growth and policy debate for the continent as a whole, which traditionally has been dominated by external actors and concerns.
The African Growth and Development Policy (AGRODEP) Modeling Consortium, established in 2010, is a network of Africa-based experts supported to take a leading role in addressing strategic development issues across the continent, including the analytical needs of the CAADP implementation agenda. AGRODEP facilitates the use of economic modeling tools, promotes access to data sources, provides training and research grants, and supports collaboration between African and international researchers.
AGRODEP is a collaboration among AKADEMIYA2063; the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA); the West African Council on Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD); and the Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Policy Network (FANRPAN).
The AGRODEP Modeling Consortium pursues three essential activities:
- Promote access to and use of state-of-the-art economic modeling tools to meet the demand for high-quality, locally based research.
- Facilitate access to existing data sources for research and policy analysis, improve the quality of available datasets, identify and bridge data gaps, and complement sources to raise their local content and relevance.
- Support collaboration among leading African scientists and their peers outside Africa and build a dynamic research community that can respond to the emerging and long-term needs of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme’s (CAADP) growth and poverty reduction agenda.
AGRODEP consists of four key components.
A Shared Modeling Infrastructure
AGRODEP provides a platform for sharing existing core economic models dealing with sector, national, and international policy issues as well as long-term projections in areas such as agricultural growth and poverty, trade, nutrition, climate change, natural resources management, and science and technology. Initially, the shared modeling infrastructure will be based on six categories of simulation and estimation models: Multi-country, multi-sector computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the world economy such as MIRAGE (Modeling International Relationships in Applied General Equilibrium). Single country CGE models, primarily the models of AKADEMIYA2063 and of the Poverty and Economic Policy (PEP) network. Multi-market agricultural partial equilibrium (PE) models, focusing on spatial modeling and on non-spatial partial equilibrium modeling. Partial equilibrium trade models, dedicated to the analysis of trade issues at the tariff line level and aimed at providing key tools for supporting trade negotiations. Econometric models, including different types of gravity models. Supply and Demand estimation models, in particular standard supply/demand estimation models and price and income elasticity estimation models.
- Multi-country, multi-sector computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the world economy such as MIRAGE (Modeling International Relationships in Applied General Equilibrium).
- Single country CGE models, primarily the models of AKADEMIYA2063 and of the Poverty and Economic Policy (PEP) network.
- Multi-market agricultural partial equilibrium (PE) models, focusing on spatial modeling and on non-spatial partial equilibrium modeling.
- Partial equilibrium trade models, dedicated to the analysis of trade issues at the tariff line level and aimed at providing key tools for supporting trade negotiations.
- Econometric models, including different types of gravity models.
- Supply and Demand estimation models, in particular standard supply/demand estimation models and price and income elasticity estimation models.
These models will be customized as needed. The goal of AGRODEP is to give its members access to a set of high-quality, adaptable tools that can be used to address research needs responding to demand emanating from country- and regional-level priorities. The modeling component of AGRODEP will expand with the inclusion of new models in the future in order to address specialized needs in such areas as agronomy, animal sciences, health, and education. The shared modeling infrastructure will thus provide a window on innovations in modeling.
A Community of Practitioners
AGRODEP seeks to establish a set of specific, thematically or technically focused interest groups to serve as a forum for scientific exchange, training, and capacity building. The objective is to use the expertise across the Consortium to strengthen policy research and analysis capacities and to use the members’ research findings to raise the quality of policy debate and broaden it beyond the traditional sphere of policymakers and researchers to include other stakeholder groups.
A Common Database Platform
AGRODEP seeks to bring together dispersed and disparate statistical, economic, and geospatial data in Africa in one central clearinghouse with a Web data portal. It links existing key data sources, complements them as necessary, and develops shared standards, formats, and exchange protocols that facilitate access by Consortium members to high quality and consistent datasets. AGRODEP also provides data quality checking and certification.
A major goal of AGRODEP is to facilitate access to databases or portions of databases that are otherwise not easily accessible to individual researchers due to costs and/or access restrictions. It will cover the types of data that are used for economic analysis and policy research related to growth and development in Africa. These include agricultural statistics, household survey data, social accounting matrices, firm-level data, food supplies and balances, national accounts, macroeconomic data, bilateral trade data, market access data, transport costs, migration data, geospatial data, and various development indicators.
A Network of Experts
AGRODEP’s activities center around collaboration and the exchange of data, modeling techniques, joint analysis, reporting, and strategic debate. Networking activities will encourage collaboration around the following:
- Development of a family of state-of-the-art models and high quality modeling databases for use by individual researchers.
- Facilitation of joint research activities on specific issues of great strategic importance to Africa, including technical and logistical support, fundraising assistance, and joint publishing.
- Organization of technical meetings and outreach events to promote scientific exchange among experts and interaction with policy practitioners, the latter in collaboration with leading organizations at the country, regional, and continental levels.
- Organization of training workshops and seminars to support young scientists, upgrade skills of Consortium members, and promote technical and methodological innovation to ensure that the Consortium remains a world class entity.