(AfDB) - The African Development Bank returns as a top-tier partner of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) - now re-branded as the Africa Food Systems Forum.
The annual event, organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, is the continent’s largest agriculture conference. It will take place in Tanzania’s commercial capital from 5-8 September 2023.
The Bank has earmarked $100,000 to support the gathering, which will be headlined by African heads of state and government, and will bring together delegates from governments, civil society, the private sector and research communities. Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu and the AGRF Partner’s Group are hosting the Forum organized under the theme, Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa's Solutions to Food Systems Transformation.
Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr. Beth Dunford will lead a delegation to Dar es Salaam. At a June meeting, President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Dunford recognized Tanzania’s progress in developing its agriculture sector following January’s Dakar 2 Africa Food Summit. The Dakar 2 summit mobilized political commitment, development partners, and the private sector financing toward achieving food security in Africa.
President Hassan was one of many regional leaders at the summit who endorsed Country Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts centered on African solutions to boost the continent’s food systems.
“Tanzania has a deep understanding the Africa Food Systems Forum’s solutions-oriented theme, having launched a Food and Agriculture Delivery Compact and tripling its budget for agriculture since the Dakar 2 Summit,” Dr. Dunford said.
“We are thrilled Tanzania is co-hosting this year’s African Food Systems Forum, and just as thrilled to return as a sponsor of this premiere platform to advance Africa’s agriculture and related sector agenda,” Dunford added.
The Bank delegation will have a robust week at the forum, participating in more than a dozen events including:
On Monday, 4 September, the Bank’s Chief Financial Economist and ENABLE Youth Coordinator Edson Mypisi was a panelist on a Forum side event about youth in agrifood systems. Later in the day, Bank Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry Dr. Martin Fregene spoke to nurturing a culture of youth agri-entrepreneurship at a Heifer International hosted side event. Fregene also served as a panelist at a side event focusing on defining Africa’s fertilizer and soil health vision.
Tuesday will see the Bank showcase a “Post-Dakar 2: Food Sovereignty and Resilience” high-level side event, providing a platform to assess progress on implementing outcomes of the the Dakar 2 Summit in January.
Fregene will be part of an opening panel on financing agro-processing and agro-industrialization on Tuesday, while Bank Division Manager for Agribusiness Development Damian Ihedioha will speak at a International Livestock Research Institute donor roundtable.
Tuesday evening, the Bank and the Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN) will co-host a networking reception. The Bank will also participate in a Tuesday dinner launch of the African Transformation Office of Tanzania, supported by IFAD’s African Agricultural Transformation Initiative, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and AGRA.
The Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program teams up with Excellence in Agronomy to host a 6 September breakfast side event on resource-efficient farming and seed systems. Director Fregene and TAAT Coordinator Dr. Innocent Musabyimana will give keynote and goodwill message speakers, respectively.
Vice President Dunford offers framing remarks at the Forum’s Wednesday plenary Trade and Markets, and that evening Bank representatives will attend the launch the “Building Back Better – Youth in Agriculture initiative.” The Bank is processing an investment of $120 million in the program.
Dr. Fregene returns to the stage Thursday morning as panelist at the Forum “Policy Symposium: Infrastructure for Food Systems Transformation” session. He will represent Dr. Dunford in Friday’s closing plenary “Raising the Bar on 2023: Committing to More Inclusive and Resilient Food Systems in Africa.”