Despite the growing efforts of research and extension programs on the promotion of conservation agriculture (CA), there has been limited success with adopting CA on smallholder farms in Africa. African farming systems are highly heterogeneous in terms of agro-ecological, socio-economical and cultural environments and opportunities for CA necessarily require local adaptation. Simulation models and modelling frameworks may be used to assist our ability to better understand and target innovative technologies such as CA within complex farming systems. Over 30 months, the overall objective of this project is to assess and learn jointly from past and on-going CA experiences under which conditions and to what extent does CA strengthen the socio-economic position of landholders in Africa. For this purpose, a consortium comprising 10 highly experienced, complementary European, African and International partners has been assembled. It will develop an up-to date knowledge database on CA practices in Africa. Biophysical, socioeconomic and conceptual models of innovation systems will be applied to a series of case studies across five regions in Africa to analyse the impact and adoption of CA at different scales (field, farm, region). This will facilitate the identification of pathways to make models readily applicable for decision-makers in different African regions and under different conditions. It will allow to set the agenda for future research, development and promotion of CA in Africa. Dissemination, networking and training will make the project outcomes highly accessible to the principal stakeholders (researchers, public and private extension services, farmer organisations, national and regional policymakers, private sector).