Africa’s’ political capital, Addis Ababa, is hosting the African Green Revolution Forum, AGRF 2014, the 4th to take place in Africa after Accra in 2010, Arusha in 2012 and Maputo in 2013. The conference aims to address the question “How can we sustainably eliminate famine and chronic hunger from the face of the continent?” Nearly 1,000 participants are expected to attend the AGRF, including African Heads of State, Ministers, farmers, business leaders, representatives of youth and women’s organizations, and scientists. The attendees will engage in conversations in 60 pre-events, plenaries and breakaway sessions from September 1-4, 2014.
The AGRF is the most significant Africa-wide gathering of agriculture experts, investors and farmers since the African Union issued its Malabo Declaration in June pushing for accelerated agricultural growth. In the Declaration, African Heads of State called for the doubling of food productivity in Africa, halving of poverty and significant progress toward the elimination of child under-nutrition by 2025. 2014 also marks the African Year of Agriculture and Food Security. The summit is expected to provide an opportunity to take stock of progress over the last decade.
The theme of this year’s AGRF is “Beyond the Tipping Point: A New Vision and Strategies for Inclusive and Sustainable Transformation.” The meeting will address critical issues for Africa’s food security: increasing food productivity as climate change presents more challenging growing conditions; promoting agricultural investment that generates benefits at all economic levels; increasing financing for agricultural development; and support for modernizing commodity markets and removing barriers to intraregional trade.
The AGRF is convened by “the Partners Group” which is made up of eleven partners such as the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), African Union (AU), African Development Bank (AfDB), OCP Group, Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Rockefeller Foundation, Syngenta International, Yara International, AGCO International, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
“I am proud that many African nations are becoming economic powerhouses, but without a viable agricultural sector and a strong rural economy, there cannot be a viable future for Africa,” said Kanayo Nwanze, president of IFAD. AGRA will be releasing its second annual Africa Agricultural Status Report at the AGRF. The report focuses on the issue of African agriculture and climate change, and how to accelerate the adoption of climate smart agriculture by Africa’s smallholder farmers.
“These goals represent a renewed political commitment, at the highest level, for agriculture-led growth across our region,” said African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, ahead of the AGRF. “We need to go further, faster. AGRF gives us the opportunity to hit the ground running and set in motion the plans and measurable steps needed for an inclusive, sustainable transformation of African agriculture by all actors.”
H.E. Kofi Annan, Chairman of Kofi Annan Foundation, HE John Kufuor, former President of Ghana, Donald Kaberuka of the African Development Bank, Eleni Gabre-Madhin, CEO of Eleni Exchanges and Sean De Cleene, Senior Vice President of Yara are few among the attending international executives. The forum aims to create a “virtual dialogue” by incorporating a volunteer twitter army using the #AGRF2014 hashtag and live streaming each plenary on its website agrforum.com.
You can get real time updates of the forum by HornAffairs staff @FetsumBerhane