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 AGRF 2020 to Focus on Feeding the Cities in Building Resilient Food Systems

Kigali, Rwanda – September 8, 2020: More than 4,000 delegates from governments, the private sector, civil society, research community and development partners will participate in the 10th edition of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), which will be held virtually from 8 – 11 September. The event will be co-hosted by the Government of Rwanda and the AGRF Partners Group.

The AGRF is the world’s premier forum for advancing Africa’s agricultural agenda. This year, H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, will lead discussions around the theme ‘Feed the Cities, Grow the Continent: Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa’.

Over four days, leaders will share their experiences in capturing the demands of a growing urban demand to improve food systems, increase adaptation, and build interconnected African markets that create opportunities right from rural smallholders to urban supermarkets. This is as farmers demonstrate the new technologies they are using to transform their household businesses.

Agripreneurs and business leaders will also showcase innovative business models for investment and scaling.

In particular, The Agribusiness Deal Room, which links growing enterprises to investors, will give entrepreneurs seeking US $100,000 – US $50m the opportunity to sign deals with some of the world’s biggest organizations.

Similarly, researchers and thought leaders will demonstrate how data from scientific studies could be used for business and evidence-based policymaking. Additionally, public sector leaders will share their experience in delivering solutions for connecting the urban food demand to a rural supply.

This year’s theme is a call to action to rethink Africa’s food systems in the delivery of resilient, better nourished, and more prosperous outcomes for all.

In this regard, the AGRF virtual summit will inspire and call for the adoption of concrete action and commitment from governments, the private sector, farmers, processors, and other stakeholders in the agriculture and food systems sector.

On this note, AGRF Partners Group Chair, the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, projects that this year’s event will redefine the future of African agriculture.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of strengthening local agricultural production. We have enough resources in the continent to sustain all our food needs and at this year’s AGRF, we will be exploring ways to make this a reality,” he said.

According to the recent OECD report, the rate of urbanization on the continent continues to quicken and will continue to grow among the fastest of the world regions in the coming years.

Speaking at the opening of the summit, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Hon. Dr. Gérardine Mukeshimana indicated that this year’s AGRF Summit is one of the key moments defining the continent’s future.

“This year’s AGRF theme ‘Feed the Cities, Grow the Continent: Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa’ speaks to all of us. Feeding the cities is increasingly becoming a fundamental question but we barely take time to think about it. I am glad that AGRF partners saw this as in important topic to be discussed this year.” she added

Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), says that discussions at AGRF2020 will yield solutions for the increasing demand for African products that fuel diverse, healthy diets. Challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic, she adds, increase the urgency to find local solutions for the continent’s food needs.

“The AGRF presents a good opportunity for all stakeholders in the African agricultural value chains to design food systems that are equitable, sustainable, resilient, and capable of meeting the challenges of malnutrition, poverty and climate change as well as remain responsive to emerging and unforeseen challenges – such as those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Special Envoy to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.

During the summit, technical assessments, policy analyses, and political discussions will pursue the consensus needed to make farming in Africa productive, profitable, sustainable and inclusive. Workshops and plenary sessions featuring ministers, heads of international agencies and CEOs of global, regional and national business companies within and outside Africa, will explore the bid for an agricultural revolution driven by the active involvement of the continent’s farmers in providing sufficient food for the increasing urban populations. Indeed, Africa is the world’s fastest urbanizing region with an urban population of 472 million people that will double over the next 25 years, according to the United Nations. This increase in urban citizens greatly contributes to an increase in demand for basic staple foods at a rate of 4.8 per cent per year.

At the end of the conference, it is expected that the delegates will make a relevant commitment to support Africa’s agriculture in a bid to Leverage Urban Markets and drive a new era of innovative policies, programs, and investments that will adapt to overcome emerging challenges such as COVID-19 to ensure a healthy and economically prosperous continent.

 About the AGRA

AGRA is a farmer-centered, African-led, partnerships-driven institution that is working to transforming smallholder farming from a solitary struggle to survive to a business that thrives. In collaboration with its partners—including African governments, researchers, development partners, the private sector and civil society— AGRA’s work primarily focuses on smallholder farmers – men and women who typically cultivate staple crops on two hectares or less. AGRA has learned a lot from efforts during its first decade and is now recognized across the continent as a strong voice for African rural development, a prosperous agricultural economy, and for supporting thousands of small African businesses and millions of African families to improve agriculture as a way to ensure food security and improve their livelihoods.

 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 organised by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation.

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