YARA Theory Workshop: The Character of the Agrarian Question in Contemporary Africa

13th– 17th May 2019, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

The current African demographic explosion in the context of converging global crises in food, energy, finance and the environment necessitates skilled and adaptive scholars who can work collaboratively and interdisciplinary to identify needs, build partnerships, provide evidence and infuse expertise into public and policy debates on the African continent.

The network of Young African Researchers in Agriculture (YARA) seeks to produce robust and rigorous research output that will help various stakeholders to enhance their understanding of the landscape within which these crises are taking place, and provide contextualized contribution to policy development processes that will bring about a broad-based transformation for the benefit of the peoples, institutions and economies of the African continent.

To this end, YARA in collaboration with the Institute for Poverty, Land, and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape organize a theory workshop for young African scholars from across the continent to equip them with deeper understanding of both historical and contemporary African contexts in which issues of land, agricultural production, food security and environmental change are relevant. The workshop aims to introduce a range of possible approaches from within diverse theoretical, conceptual and political perspectives that they can use to understand issues related to land, agricultural production, food security and environmental change.

This academic training that will be undertaken by some eminent African scholars in critical agrarian research field intends to help participants to clearly grasp the key elements of approaches grounded strongly in agrarian political economy and introduce to them some key substantive issues and controversies in relation to processes of change in land, environment, and African food systems.