AFF is currently engaged with a number of partners
Regional Economic Communities (RECS)
There are eight RECs in Africa, namely; Community of Sahel-Sharan States (CEN-SAD), East Africa Community (EAC), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), Sothern African Development Community (SADC), and Union du Maghreb Arabe (UMA). Of these, AFF has made substantial progress with SADC and ECOWAS. More effort will be channelled in the near future to consolidate partnership with the two RECs while initiating contact with the rest
Regional and Global Research Organisations
These groups include regional research bodies such as Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and its Sub-Regional Organizations (SROs) (ASARECA, CORAF/WECARD, SADC/FANR and NASRO). Also included are the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR) subsidiary bodies such as World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Centre for International Forest Research (CIFOR). Good progress is being made in relations with FARA where AFF has actively participated in FARA’s major events since 2009. ICRAF is host to AFF and collaboration is on-going on multiple levels and multiple themes.
The United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the World War II by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among national and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuidling, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the UN and its specialized agencies and programmes operate. Of especial interest to the AFF are United Nations Food and Agricultural Orgasation (UNFAO), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). FAO sits at the AFF GC and has collaborated with AFF on the Forest-Climate Change theme. An MoU is at the final stage with the UNEP while collaboration is on-going with the UNECA on a IDRC funded Climate Change Adaptation project.
AFF heavily relies on external funding for much of its activities. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has been the main development partner for AFF since its inception. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has started a long term support since November 2010 and is about to scale up its engagement in 2011. The cooperation with Sida has a broad range of themes from climate change, plantations, FLEGT and forest-water relations to international negotiations and capacity development of the AFF. SDC will focus on forest-climate change nexus in the short term. More development partners from the G7 countries will be approached for support, including UK, Canada, Germany, USA, Japan, Italy and France.
Regional and Global Networks and Organisations
There are several networks and organizations operating both at regional and global levels that have interest in Forests in Africa. These include COMIFAC, ITTO, and ANAFE, among others. A robust partnership is being built with these institutions. COMIFAC and ITTO now sit in the AFF Governing Council. An MoU is at advanced stage with ITTO paving the way for a wide range of collaboration.