AfDB Urges Greater Fo­cus on Im­ple­men­ta­tion, as African Green Rev­o­lu­tion Fo­rum Be­gins

THISDAY - - BUSINES SWORLD | DEVELOPMENT - Abim­bola Akosile ABIM­BOLA AKOSILE

Ahead of the 2017 African Green Rev­o­lu­tion Fo­rum (AGRF), the Pres­i­dent of the African De­vel­op­ment Bank (AfDB), Ak­in­wumi Adesina, has called for greater at­ten­tion to be paid to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of con­crete plans for achiev­ing the green rev­o­lu­tion in Africa.

The sev­enth African Green Rev­o­lu­tion Fo­rum, tak­ing place in Abid­jan, Côte d’Ivoire, from Septem­ber 4 to 8, will fo­cus on ‘Ac­cel­er­at­ing Africa’s Path to Pros­per­ity: Grow­ing Economies and Jobs through Agri­cul­ture’.

The Fo­rum is hosted by the Al­liance for a Green Rev­o­lu­tion in Africa (AGRA), an African- led in­sti­tu­tion fo­cused on putting farm­ers at the cen­tre of the con­ti­nent’s grow­ing economies. AGRA is built on an al­liance of part­ners that care about, com­mit to and in­vest in Africa’s agri­cul­tural trans­for­ma­tion.

AGRF part­ners in­clude the African De­vel­op­ment Bank, the African Union, the African Fer­tiliser and Agribusi­ness Part­ner­ship (AFAP), AGRA, the Food and Agri­cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion of the United Na­tions (FAO), the In­ter­na­tional Fund for Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment (IFAD), Master­card Foun­da­tion, the New Part­ner­ship for Africa’s De­vel­op­ment (NEPAD), OCP Africa Group, the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion, the South­ern African Con­fed­er­a­tion of Agri­cul­tural Unions (SACAU), Syn­genta, and YARA In­ter­na­tional. The African De­vel­op­ment Bank is proud to be a part­ner in the Fo­rum in Abid­jan. “As we all con­verge on Abid­jan for this year’s African Green Rev­o­lu­tion Fo­rum, our fo­cus should be on im­ple­men­ta­tion,” Ak­in­wumi Adesina, Pres­i­dent of the AfDB, said in a video state­ment.

Adesina noted that this year’s Fo­rum comes as some African na­tions are wit­ness­ing drought and height­ened food in­se­cu­rity. He stressed that the event presents an op­por­tu­nity to push ef­forts to make Africa self-suf­fi­cient in food pro­duc­tion and trans­form agri­cul­ture into a wealth-cre­at­ing sec­tor

“Agri­cul­ture is boom­ing in Africa and holds the great­est op­por­tu­nity to boost African economies, build ru­ral economies, lift mil­lions out of poverty, and cre­ate jobs,” he said.

AfDB is ac­cel­er­at­ing this de­vel­op­ment through its Feed Africa Strat­egy with planned in­vest­ment of $24 bil­lion over the next 10 years. The Bank in­vites part­ners, gov­ern­ments, pri­vate sec­tor, and de­vel­op­ment in­sti­tu­tions to work to­gether to make this hap­pen.

This year’s African Green Rev­o­lu­tion Fo­rum, con­sid­ered to be the most im­por­tant meet- ing on African agri­cul­ture, will be held un­der the pa­tron­age of the Pres­i­dent of Côte d’Ivoire, Alas­sane Ou­at­tara.

The Fo­rum is ex­pected to bring ex­perts and other stake­hold­ers to­gether to en­sure that the im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture to African economies is not over­looked. Agri­cul­ture rep­re­sents more than 70 per cent of em­ploy­ment; mak­ing it es­sen­tial to de­liv­er­ing on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment vi­sions for the con­ti­nent and achiev­ing the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals.

The sixth African Green Rev­o­lu­tion Fo­rum ( AGRF) was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in Septem­ber 2016 and at­tracted more than 1,500 del­e­gates from 40 coun­tries.

At AGRF 2016, many of Africa’s stead­fast cham­pi­ons of agri­cul­ture pledged more than $30 bil­lion in in­vest­ments to in­crease pro­duc­tion, in­come and em­ploy­ment for small­holder farm­ers and lo­cal African agri­cul­ture busi­nesses over the next 10 years.

AfDB is lead­ing a cam­paign to un­lock the con­ti­nent’s food and agri­cul­ture mar­ket, which is pro­jected to hit $1 tril­lion by 2030. In the words of the AfDB Pres­i­dent: “We must hurry. Africa’s time to be­come the global pow­er­house for food and agri­cul­ture is now. We are al­ready late.”

En­sur­ing steady food sup­ply in Ifo, Ogun State

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