Friday, December 12, 2008

Agricultural Law in Sub-Saharan Africa

Professor Fred Boadu of Texas A & M University posted the following announcement in the last issue of the Agricultural Law Update, the newsletter of the American Agricultural Law Association. As he explains, the development of an agricultural law framework will be critical to the success of the agricultural sector in developing economies.

Objective
About 30 years ago, Neil Hamilton forcefully made the case for the need to introduce Agricultural Law as part of the curriculum in law schools in the United States. Today, as Neil Harl has stated, Agricultural Law has “taken its place in the intellectual firmament.”

I am following the trail of these leaders to make a similar call in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa. I have two main objectives in sending this announcement to the members of the American Agricultural Law Association:

1. To invite participation, solicit ideas and recommendations looking into options for introducing Agricultural Law curriculum into law school and agricultural economics programs in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

2. To request that AALA members who know of interested individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa to submit contact information to me so I can include them in database network.

No doubt the introduction of Agricultural Law programs is the responsibility of African institutions themselves. We will need a partnership between Africans, academics and practitioners in the United States and Europe to achieve this objective.

Proposal
1. Invitations have been sent out to interested scholars from Africa to participate in a conference that explores options for Agricultural Law curriculum development.

2. A proposal for the conference will be prepared in collaboration with interested participants from African universities. decided by those who have expressed interest in this effort.

Justification
Agricultural growth is key to reducing poverty in Africa. African countries can no longer ignore the legal and regulatory contexts in agricultural development planning to promote growth given the impact of global forces (governance, food prices, bioenergy, water, climate change, food safety, trade, etc). The proposed program seeks to fill this void.

Contact
If you are interested in this effortand wish to participate, please contact:
Fred Boadu, PhD.; J.D.
Professor, Texas A&M University
phone: 979-845-4410
e-mail: f-boadu@tamu.edu


Post Script
Immediately after reading Professor Boadu's post, I contacted him. Last fall, Christopher Kelley, Neil Hamilton, and I discussed the importance of agricultural laws - indeed, the rule of law - to the development of the agricultural economies of countries. We discussed a program that would bring attorneys to the United States to study agricultural law and then return home to apply what they learned. Our program never got off the ground, but we remained interested in ways to reach out to assist developing countries. In this regard, I was delighted to find Professor Boadu's annoucement. He was similarly pleased to find others that shared his perspectives on the importance of this issue. We hope to meet in January to discuss how to proceed. I told him I would post the announcement on this blog and that hopefully we would find others to join us in discussions.

1 Comments:

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