By: Victor Emeruwa
Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) ends a 4-day Summit in Kigali with a defining message to African government, civil society, policy community and other stakeholders in Agriculture on the continent.
The policy community is looked unto for rethinking the African food system, with a charge to innovate and expand research capacity.
The message for the government and political leaders is to ensure a non-complex framework for growth of the food system and rebuilding of infrastructure which connects the farms to the cities. The civil society is called upon to stay on advocating for quality regulations and greater accountability.
At the closing ceremony, President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame succinctly delivered a nudging thought-line of action saying:0
“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 urbanization depends, in large part, on ensuring solid linkages between urban and food markets and Africa’s rural producers.
“Agriculture is critical, and we must stay the course despite COVID-19. We will need better collaboration on fiscal space and we need to maximize the opportunities around technology, youth, gender and the AfCFTA”
Major highlights of the virtual gathering of about 10,400 delegates was the launch of the 2020 Africa Agricultural Status Report, a policy and action document which points to opportunities and challenges of the food systems in the continent. The Agricultural Deal Room, also drew in more investors and businesses willing to invest in Africa’s food systems. The Summit also announce winners of the 2020 Africa Food Prize. Winners for the year are Dr. Catherine Nakalembe and Dr. Andre Bationo.
In her final remark, AGRA President Dr. Agnes Kalibata delivered a mandate which summarized the intended purpose of the Summit:
“As Africa economies advance and cities grow, we need to seize the moment and improve the 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. This 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”. Kalibata said.