Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 17 July 2017 – The Government of Côte d’Ivoire is committed to continually improve the agricultural sector which is key to its economic development. This was emphasized at the close of last week by His Excellency President Alassane Ouattara at a State House meeting with a high-level delegation ahead of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) to be hosted in the country’s capital Abidjan later this year, 4-8 September.

The AGRF is a platform for global and African leaders to develop actionable plans that will move African agriculture forward. Established in 2010, it has emerged as Africa’s premier agricultural gathering that brings together a range of critical stakeholders in the African agriculture landscape to discuss and develop concrete plans for achieving the green revolution in Africa.

The delegation, led by Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and Founder of Econet Wireless and Board Chair, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), briefed the President on preparations made for the AGRF and how critical this forum is to furthering the agricultural transformation priorities of the country, and also the entire continent. The President and the delegation also discussed how to unlock greater investments in the country and agricultural value chains throughout the region.

Others in the delegation included Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and Mr. Fadel Ndiame, AGRA’s Regional Head for West Africa.

His Excellency President Alassane Ouattara will invite a number of fellow Heads of State, Ministers, business leaders and entrepreneurs from the region and around the world to the 2017 AGRF which will be hosted under the leadership.

Côte d’Ivoire, the first francophone African country to host the Forum, is hailed for its leadership in placing agriculture at the heart of its economic transformation. It is among a few select African countries that have made the biggest investments in the sector resulting in sizeable increases in both farm productivity and overall economic performance. These countries provide a shining example of agriculture’s potential to turnaround the continent’s economic fortunes.

“We are very grateful to President Ouattara and his Government for the leadership he continues to provide in championing agriculture as Africa’s surest path to inclusive economic growth and job creation, as well as for hosting this year’s AGRF,” said Mr. Masiyiwa.

“Evidence from elsewhere in the world show that no region has developed a diverse, modern economy without first establishing a successful agriculture sector. This holds true for Africa, where the agriculture sector has the greatest potential to create jobs for the 10-12 million new young workers that enter the African job market every year,” he added.

Immediately following the meeting with President Ouattara, Hon. Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Côte d’Ivoire, signed the host-country Memorandum of Understanding with Dr. Kalibata of AGRA, as a further testament of the country’s commitment to make this AGRF a success.

Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, Hon. Coulibaly stated that the choice of Cote d’Ivoire to host AGRF 2017 confirms the positive image of the country anchored on its impressive economic growth performances recorded under the leadership of President Ouattara.

With the theme of “Accelerating Africa’s Path to Prosperity: Growing Inclusive Economies and Jobs through Agriculture”, the September Forum will be an opportunity to showcase ongoing progress in Africa’s agricultural transformation agenda and scale up the political, policy, and financial commitments needed to achieve the Malabo Declaration and global agenda around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It will also explore innovations and actions on the ground that ensure smallholder farmers and small rural agriculture businesses are at the heart of driving and benefitting from Africa’s agricultural transformation.

Importantly, the Forum will look at how governments, businesses, and other partners are coming through on the over US$ 30 Billion worth of political, policy, and financial commitments made at last year’s AGRF 2016 in Nairobi, as well as secure new commitments and welcome new champions.

Co-hosted by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, AGRA, and the African Development Bank, the Forum will be attended by over 750 delegates and high level dignitaries including current and former African Heads of State, agriculture and finance ministers, business leaders, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, NGOs, civil society, media, scientists, development partners and technical partners.

For more information, please contact:

At the Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Agriculture

Mme Dosso-Kone Bathine, Conseiller Technique en charge, de la Communication at ctminader@gmail.com/00 225 07 82 42 13

At the AGRF

Waiganjo Njoroge, AGRA Global Media Lead at wnjoroge@agra.org or Tel. No: +254 723 857 270

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