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  • Ahmed Saleh

AGFUND President and Nobel laureate Kremer announce transformative partnership at COP28

Dubai, December 06, 2023, In a momentous announcement at the Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development Award Ceremony during COP28 in Dubai, the President of AGFUND, Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal Al Saud, and Nobel laureate Michael Kremer unveiled a transformative partnership. The collaboration, set against the backdrop of the United Arab Emirates, aims to propel innovations to a larger scale, with a specific focus on addressing the interconnected challenges of climate change, food security, and agriculture.

AGFUND, the Arab Gulf Programme for Development, will join forces with the Innovation Commission for Climate Change, Food Security, and Agriculture, presided over by Nobel laureate Michael Kremer. Together, their mission is to advance the development, testing, and scaling of cost-effective innovations at the critical nexus of climate change, food security, and agriculture.

Prince Abdulaziz underscored the significance of the partnership, stating, "Through this collaboration, we're bringing critical issues to the forefront. Climate Change, Food Security, and Agriculture are deeply rooted in the 17 SDGs, and we are tirelessly coordinating with our partners to accelerate and localize them within the partner countries."

As the first step in this groundbreaking partnership, Dr. Nasser Alkahtani, the Executive Director of AGFUND, announced an initial commitment of $100,000. This financial support will advance rigorous research in one of the priority areas of the Innovation Commission: Training for rainwater harvesting. The aim is to explore and promote on-farm rainwater harvesting techniques that can enhance soil quality, increase yields and revenues, and sequester carbon. The commitment aligns with ongoing research efforts in Niger, demonstrating that training sessions significantly boost the adoption of demi-lunes, a rainwater harvesting technique.

With AGFUND's support, researchers in Niger will generate valuable insights applicable to other countries in the Sahel region and beyond. Michael Kremer emphasized the global impact of such collaborations, stating, "Innovation is a global public good. Adapting innovations, refining them through A/B tests, and scaling them provides proof of concept and generates global knowledge that can inform scaling regionally and globally."

The Innovation Commission, situated at the University of Chicago, serves as a crucial initiative that identifies innovations with strong evidence of impact and cost-effectiveness. Comprising former heads of state, finance ministers, and leaders in international organizations and civil society, the Commission generates recommendations to transition impactful innovations to a larger scale.

AGFUND, established by the initiative of Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz with support from GCC countries, is a development institution committed to enhancing human development worldwide without any form of discrimination. This strategic collaboration marks a significant step towards addressing pressing global challenges and fostering sustainable innovation in the realms of climate change, food security, and agriculture.

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