Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership

Project partners




Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership

The ​Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership was funded through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and coordinated by a consortium comprising PBCRC, the Crawford Fund and CABI. The formal program completed in March 2017.

About the Partnership

The Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership (AAPBP) was established in 2014, as a three-year capacity development program which used Australian expertise to strengthen biosecurity skills and planning in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Ten African countries participated: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The main aim of the AAPBP was to build capacity through an Africa Plant Biosecurity Network, which comprised 45 Fellows who were plant biosecurity experts from both the public and private sector in Africa. The Fellows undertook a program of specialist technical and simulation training, and development of engagement, negotiation and communication skills over a three year period. Fifteen of the experts - Senior Fellows - experienced placements in Australian biosecurity institutions and developed action plans targeted at specific national and regional biosecurity problems in their countries. 

By building capacity for sustained impact - through improving skills, developing contacts and building the confidence to improve plant biosecurity in their countries - the members of the Africa Plant Biosecurity Network were empowered to develop and grow the group. Participating countries have seen value in the network in terms of regional response and shared intelligence on emerging pests and diseases.

Biosecurity is a global challenge. If AAPBP expertise can help developing nations improve crop protection and build export opportunities, then Australia and other nations will benefit from a stronger global biosecurity system. The partnership has been an important step in building skills, experience and relationships globally.

The AAPBP provides a template for participatory plant biosecurity training. Its success was a result of the science-based Australian biosecurity system; PBCRC's comprehensive network of Australian biosecurity organisations and professionals; CABI's comprehensive understanding and presence in Africa; the Crawford's Funds experience in capacity development programs; and the people involved, especially the Fellows themselves (meet the Senior Fellows here).

ACIAR, in partnership with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), is considering transitional measures to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the AAPBP, through the appointment of a Coordinator who would be based in COMESA.

Africa Senior Fellows

The Africa Senior Fellows and the AAPBP project team in Melbourne.

Key Activities

The key activities associated with the AAPBP program from 2014-2017 involved a series of workshops and training in both Australia and Africa. The blog and news page provides a series of updates for each workshop. Activities and outcomes associated with each workshop were captured in a series of reports:

  • Fourth Network Workshop Report, 25 February - 3 March 2017, Lusaka, Zambia

  • Third Network Workshop Report, 5-9 September 2016, Nairobi, Kenya

  • Second Network Workshop Report, 23 May - 3 June 2016, Arusha, Tanzania

  • 2015 Australian Training Program Report, January 2016 - 15 Senior Fellows from Africa participated in an intensive six week study program with Australian biosecurity institutions.

  • The Windsor Report, November 2015 - an assessment of the status of plant biosecurity in Africa, capturing direct feedback from African plant biosecurity professionals and setting out the priority areas for AAPBP activities to address.

  • First Network Workshop Report, 18-20 August 2015, Nairobi, Kenya

  • Prioritisation Workshop Communique, 27-28 October 2014, Nairobi, Kenya

Key Outcomes

Some of the key outcomes experienced by AAPBP Fellows include:

  • Individual performance, training others, networking. Several Fellows reported feeling more confident as a result of the AAPBP, and better able to champion plant biosecurity issues. Fellows have trained others in what they have learned, and reported being seen as a key resource - for example the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have used the expertise of AAPBP Fellows in training workshops.

  • Organisational performance. Fellows have been able to provide enormous benefit to their organisations through sharing their expertise and adding value to other activities being undertaken.

  • Public-private cooperation. There has been improved interaction between the public and private sectors and an increased understanding of each others roles. For example, one private sector Fellow reported their organisation has allocated resources for plant biosecurity activities in collaboration with their National Plant Protection Organization.

  • Australia-Africa linkages. Senior Fellows have established strong relationships with their counterparts in Australia, assisting them in implementing activities, and in one case facilitating discussions on access to the Australian market.

  • Technical activities. Fellows have learned and put into practice new methods to strengthen plant biosecurity in their countries. One example is an integrated approach to fruit fly management, leading to reduced production losses and opening up new market access and trade opportunities.


"This program has been extremely useful for us in Africa. Now we know each other better it’s easy to contact each other to get updates on pest situations. As Senior Fellows we have an important role to play in making sure knowledge is put into practice.”

Mable Mudenda, Senior Agricultural Research Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Zambia


“As part of an AAPBP action plan I developed, I organised for a meeting of capsicum stakeholders in Rwanda to exchange ideas on capsicum and learn how to identify and manage False Codling Moth. It was the first time a meeting like this was held, and several recommendations were proposed. It was such a great opportunity for AAPBP Fellows to exchange their skills with participants.”

Bellancile Uzayisenga, Head of the Crop Protection Programme, Rwanda Agriculture Board


“From my experience in Australia, when I got back I approached the Association of Mango Growers directly, and they have responded well. Fruit flies are everyone’s problem, so we also need a regional approach. We have now been able to negotiate market access for export mangos to Oman and Saudi Arabia.”

Katemani Mdili, Senior Agricultural Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Tanzania


AAPBP videos

VIDEO 1: Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership (May 2017)

The AAPBP project was highly successful, with many life-long networks made. In this wrap up video, hear from project partners and the Senior Fellows themselves on what the project meant to them, and how it built biosecurity capacity in Africa with global benefits.

VIDEO 2: Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership (April 2016)

An overview of the Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership filmed at the beginning of the Senior Fellows' Australian placements. 

AAPBP Promotional Flyer

Read the flyer here.