AGRF 2020 Concludes with Call for Greater Focus on Urban Food Markets, Providing More Sustainable Food Supplies Across Africa
The 10th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) drew 10,400 delegates to rethink Africa’s food systems to deliver a more resilient, better nourished, and more prosperous future for all
Kigali, Rwanda: 14 September 2020 – The 10th edition of the annual African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Kigali Rwanda, saw heads of state, government ministers, civil society, and business leaders resolve to use the flourishing urban food markets as a launchpad for growing the continent’s agricultural investments into stable businesses.
The AGRF, the world’s premier forum for advancing Africa’s agricultural agenda, drew a large and diverse crowd of more than 10,400 delegates from all over the world to analyze the state of African agriculture under the theme, Feed the Cities, Grow the Continent: Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa.
The theme was a call to action to rethink Africa’s food systems in order to deliver a more resilient, better nourished, and more prosperous outcome for all. During the Forum, technical assessments, policy analyses and political discussions reached a new level of consensus that could accelerate the efforts to reach the goals in the Malabo Declaration, and make farming in Africa more productive, profitable, sustainable and inclusive.
Speaking in his closing Presidential Address, H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, commented “Increasingly, African consumers live in cities. Our continent has the world’s fastest rates of urbanization and will continue to do so, for decades to come. The quality of that urbanization depends, in large part, on ensuring solid linkages between urban food markets and Africa’s rural producers… Agriculture is critical, and we must stay the course despite COVID19. We will need better collaboration on fiscal space, and we need to maximize the opportunities around technology, youth, gender and the AfCFTA.”
H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Chair, AGRF Partners Group, said: “We must do more to achieve the vision and goals we have set for ourselves”. During the four-day summit, delegates explored innovative ways to streamline the continent’s agricultural value chains. Until now, traditional hurdles have made it hugely difficult for Africa’s farmers to sufficiently serve the rising urban food demand.
Agripreneurs, youth entrepreneurs and business leaders showcased innovative models, ready for investment and scaling, while scientists, researchers and thought leaders demonstrated ways in which policy amendments and innovative technology could lead to stronger agricultural value chains. Meanwhile, public sector leaders shared their experience in delivering inclusive market-strengthening, policies and investments that stimulate strong food security plans across the continent. This is in a bid to leverage urban markets and drive a new era of innovative programs and investments for the benefit of Africa’s agricultural producers and consumers.
“As Africa’s economies advance and cities grow, we need to seize the moment and improve linkages to Africa’s largest producers – its millions of smallholder farmers- by investing more in urban food markets, coherence of food governance between cities and producers and food safety. These will enhance the competitiveness of our food industry, bolster regional food trade, and position Africa to be a better trade partner with the rest of the world,” Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and Special Envoy to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, said. She continued, “We must not relent in our effort to transform food systems for the benefit of everyone and build stronger, resilient and more sustainable food systems.”
Deliberations at the forum made it clear that coordinated efforts between players in the public and private sector actors can unlock the potential of Africa’s agricultural endeavors, leading to food sufficiency for all. The event closed with an appeal for environmentally and commercially sustainable agricultural practices that quickly respond to emerging challenges such as Covid-19, climate change and locust invasions.
Highlights from this year’s summit included:
• The launch of the 2020 Africa Agricultural Status Report, Feeding Africa’s Cities, assessing the opportunities, challenges and policies required to enable African farmers and agribusinesses serve the rapidly growing urban food markets.
• The Agribusiness Deal Room this year, which drew around 208 businesses, 55 financial investors, 20 business development service providers and 54 anchor buyers, saw over 1,000 investment and partnership meetings take place. This is a space curated by AGRA and partners to nurture productive, business and investment partnerships in the African agri-food ecosystem.
• The 2020 winners of the Africa Food Prize (AFP) and the GoGettaz Agripreneur Award were announced. Dr. Catherine Nakalembe and Dr. André Bationo shared the $100,000 Africa Food Prize for their exceptional contribution towards the promotion of food security across the continent.
This was the second time that the AGRF has taken place in Kigali, Rwanda after the successful event of 2018.
For more details on the discussions, decisions, commitments and key outcomes of AGRF 2020, please see the AGRF media room.
About the AGRF
The African Green Revolution Forum was first held in 2006 as the African Green Revolution Conference (AGRC), hosted by Yara International ASA in Norway. The conference moved to Africa in 2010 with the championing of former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, who oversaw its transition to an African identity. The Forum now consists of an annual event combined with thematic platforms and activities throughout the year to ensure continuous progress over time. Rwanda is the second country, after Ghana, to host the event twice, having successfully hosted the 2018 edition. Afterwards, Rwanda will host the event in alternate years, having been named the home of the AGRF seat. Other AGRF member countries will host the Forum in the years between. In its current format, the AGRF is organized by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation.
About the AGRF Partners Group
The AGRF Partners Group is made up of 26 leading actors in African agriculture all focused on putting farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economies. Members include: the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Corteva, the Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Bayer, Grow Africa, the International Development Research Center (IDRC) of Canada, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR), the IKEA Foundation, the Mastercard Foundation, NEPAD Agency, OCP Group, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), Syngenta, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), UPL, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC | CRDI) and Yara International ASA.
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For more information on the AGRF agenda and partners visit www.agrf.org.