The summary of Coopen Summit | Voices of African Innovation 2022

Today we celebrate the triumph of cooperation, thanks to the interaction of the charismatic audience of Coopen Summit | Voices of African Innovation 2022, the international event dedicated to the Coopen initiative. Coopen is part of the program Innovazione per lo Sviluppo promoted by Fondazione Cariplo and Fondazione Compagnia San Paolo, and is managed by Cariplo Factory, with the contribution of JengaLab, Centro Tiresia del Politecnico di Milano and Effecinque.   


Coopen is a participatory open innovation process for implementing impactful solutions between Italy and Africa by facilitating partnerships between Italian NGOs and Italian-African innovators. COOPEN acted in three areas of interest within three relevant SDGs: Food and sustainable agriculture, Health and well-being, Circular economy. The projects carried out under the Coopen initiative have beenimplemented Burkina Faso, Etiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda. 


During the Coopen Summit | Voices of African Innovation 2022 international speakers operating mainly at the institutional level and in the world of cooperation for development discussed the issues of food and sustainable agriculture and the circular economy.  





“Making a positive and lasting impact on the world requires the ability to innovate, the capacity to implement best practices, and the potentiality to face new challenges and opportunities. Social and economic inequality is growing almost everywhere, and for this reason, we need a better understanding of these challenges through science and the space to test ideas that can potentially deliver transformational change.”  

Gladys H. Morales, Senior Innovation Adviser at the Change Delivery and Innovation Unit – IFAD    






“Circular economy, at its core, is a system change agenda. It’s not a quick fix. It’s a transformative approach that affects different parts of the system. It requires trial and error, testing new methods, and long-term commitment.” 

Amelia Kuch, Circular Economy Policy Manager from Ellen MacArthur Foundation 







“Globally 1 in 10 people are undernourished.  World hunger is on the rise due to conflict, climate change, Covid-19 and rising costs.  Business as usual is not sufficient to reach the Sustainable Development Goal of a world with zero hunger.  Further investments in sustainable agriculture and innovation can be part of the solution.” 

Caroline Legros, Deputy Director Innovation and Knowledge Management Division – World Food Programme   



“The innovation for the agrifood system is something urgent, and to reach our goals we have to act now. The future is uncertain and delicate, so we must be prepared. We have to bring innovation and science to find new solutions to that risky world.” 

Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist – Food and Agriculture Organization








The main goal of the event was to find out more about the innovation projects developed by 11 Civil Society Organizations and 10 innovators. Attendees had the possibility to meet them and take part in networking sessions, in order to investigate future synergies and high-impact projects. Find out more about the innovative projects of Coopen: 


Digitizing Livestock Value Chain – Food Safety and open up Markets 

The project aimed at creating a locally led and developed solution for Livestock traceability. The farmers’ main benefits are increased capability of monitoring the animals and detecting issues. 


Traceability And Product Quality System For Fresh Products In Ethiopian Agri Value Chain 

The project certifies and secures the products along the agricultural supply chain in Ethiopia. The mechanism is improving fresh products quality, food safety, and income generation for Ethiopians. 


Sénégal Circulaire 

By training 13 Senegalese youth associations, the project allowed the valorization of the best practices of circular economy in Senegal and raised awareness on environmental protection. 


Valorization and Resilience of local seeds in Nakuru 

The project promoted sustainable agriculture based on local varieties and crops resilient to climate change in Kenya. It also centered on the importance of adopting local-agroecological-products-based diet. 


Agro-enterprise for sustainable development 

The project allows to communities in Senegal to profit from their crops through a semi-mechanized, agile and environmentally friendly system for the production of dehydrated vegetables and fruits. 


Informed Decision Processes: pilot project of data collection among pastoral communities in Isiolo County 

The project collected, recorded and analysed agricultural data to support decision-making processes related to the management of environmental and health resources, by transforming data into actions. 


Eco platform for plastic collection and recycling in Mathare 

The project allowed the creation of a new system of garbage collection that permits a more organized collection of garbage, recycling it and selling it to local companies in Naerobi. 


Agriculture 2.0 for Alito 

The project promoted sustainable agriculture through the use of new technologies that allow better management of resources, greater productivity and enhancement of the agro-food chain. 


Improving the skills and productivity of 500 smallholder farmers in Meru County 

The project intends, through data analysis, to guide farmers in the discernment of means of production, agricultural tools and market links for their crops, increasing their productivity. 


Innovative technology at the service of a sustainable agricultural model in Burkina Faso 

This project aimed at increasing the knowledge and skills of local technicians to better face their agrotechnical challenges to reduce the vulnerability of rural communities to climate change. 


Value from Waste 

Thanks to this project, solid organic waste from urban markets are collected and used to produce animal feeds and organic fertilizers using the black soldier flies. 


Coopen Summit | Voices of African Innovation will return next year with another edition under the banner of cooperation and innovation!