Public Management

TICAD7: Digital Agriculture next frontier for economic development in Africa  

Thursday, 29 August 2019 10:47
TICAD7: Digital Agriculture next frontier for economic development in Africa  

(AfdB ) - Prioritizing the digital space will help shift the development focus for Africa’s agribusiness sector and overcome its many hurdles, participants at an official side event, organized Wednesday during the 7th Tokyo International Conference, heard. 

The seminar headlined “The Digital Africa 2020 and Japanese investment Panel: Creating markets to digitize Africa”, was jointly organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the African Development Bank.

In his opening remarks, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina shared an anecdote on how he was accosted by an enthusiastic group of women on arrival at a northern Nigeria airport during his tenure as agriculture minister of the country.

To his surprise, they pulled out mobile phones from their pockets and thanked him profusely for the “gift,” which enabled them to access data on their phones. They were referring to free phones distributed to farmers and an electronic wallet system for the delivery of subsidised inputs to farmers, instituted by Adesina.

I love what technology did for those women,” Adesina told the filled auditorium.

Digital technology is a prerequisite to advancing agriculture on the continent, Michael Hailu, Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) said. “Without transforming agriculture you cannot envisage development.

His comments were echoed by Sergio Pimenta, Regional Vice President for Middle East Africa for IFC, who said the digital revolution would help unlock the vast potential of agriculture value chains.

Many people cannot access technology…it is still difficult to move people from A to B,” Pimenta said.

During the three- hour event, investors, agriculturists and government representatives covered a wide range of subjects pertinent to Africa’s digital economy such as finance for farmers, bottlenecks, digital literacy, and payment systems and investment opportunities. They also heard several examples of digital technology delivering results such as a Nigerian venture Kobo360 founded by Obi Ozor, which offers an app that connects truckers and companies to delivery services.

Ozor said inspiration for his venture stemmed from the lack of data on delivery services.

We found that banks are not lending digitally or with data,” he said.

Participants also heard from Rwandan Minister Ingabire who said farmers must be seen as valid stakeholders and not beneficiaries. Rwanda is touted as a proof of concept for reforms in the agriculture sector and is seen as one of Africa’s success stories. But a fast-changing industry requires regulations that respond to the changing environment, she said.

In a segment on Japanese investor interest in Africa, Atsuko Toda, Bank Director invited investors to begin with African countries which already offer promising investment opportunities. 

In closing remarks, Bank VP Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President, Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, described the task of harnessing digital technologies for agriculture as exciting and urged participants to see agriculture is a business not “just a way of life.”

There’s a risk, yes, but there are juicy returns, now is the time for all of us to run in that direction…don't wait too long…we all have our running shoes on,” she said.

Africa is digitizing and offers great opportunities and potential. What an exciting place to be having this conversation in Japan,” Blanke concluded.

1 agency copy

Additional Info

  • communiques: Non
  • couleur: N/A
 
Finance


 
Telecom


Ecofin Agency covers the news from 9 business sectors in Africa: Public management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Electricity, Mining, Oil and Gas, Comms and Laws. Ecofin Agency is also creating and management specialized medias, in paper and on the web/social networks, for institutions or African publishers.

AGENCE ECOFIN

Mediamania Sarl
Rue du Léman, 6
1201 Genève
Tél: +41 22 301 96 11

REDACTION
redaction@agenceecofin.com

Public management
Aaron AKINOCHO
Borgia KOBRI
Moutiou ADJIBI

Finance
Idriss LINGE
Walid KEFI
Chamberline MOKO

Agribusiness
Espoir OLODO

Electricity
Gwladys JOHNSON

Oil and Gas
Olivier DE SOUZA

Mining
Louis-Nino KANSOUN

ITC 
Muriel EDJO

Comms
Servan AHOUGNON

Cameroon
Brice R. MBODIAM
Sylvain ANDZONGO
Monique MAY
Julienne Rose SENDE

Togo
Fiacre E. KAKPO
Waliyullah TAJUDEEN
Séna AKODA

Niger
Sandrine GAINGNE

Gabon
Stephane BILLE
Pierre-Celestin ATANGANA

Desk
Stéphane ALIDJINOU
Souha TOURE
Vahid CODJIA
Diane ZODEHOUGAN
Hikmatu BILALI

Translation
Schadrac AKINOCHO
Mouka MEZONLIN
Firmine AÏZAN



Digital
Omar SOKHNA
Mamadou DIOP
Bacary MANE
Abdel Razak MOULIOM

Digital Marketing
Jérémie FLAUX
Geraud ACHI
Jean Christian BERNARD
Franck FOUTE

Web publishing
Bakoly RAHARISOA
Rina RAMANANDRAISOA
Hasina RAJEMISON

Development
Dominique FLAUX

 


 
REGIE COMMERCIALE
AGENCE ECOFIN
Rue du Léman, 6
1201 Genève
Tél: +41 22 301 96 11
Fax: +41 22 301 96 10

Benjamin FLAUX
bf@agenceecofin.com 
Tél: +41 22 301 96 11 
Mob: +41 78 699 13 72

Voir page 
Nos services
 

 










 



Ecofin Agency is a news agency for economic and sectorial information. It was created in 2010 and it website was launched in June 2011.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.