AGRF 2021 Summit kicks off to transform Africa’s food systems
Stakeholders call for investment, collaboration and inclusivity in agriculture; a post pandemic priority to tackle hunger and grow value of Africa’s agricultural sector
Nairobi September 7, 2021 – The AGRF 2021 Summit kicked off today in Nairobi, Kenya convening close to 7,000 participants virtually, including African presidents, agriculture Ministers, agricultural stakeholders and experts to discuss ways the continent can transform food systems and accelerate progress to eradicating hunger and poverty.
Hosted by the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Agriculture, the summit starts today and will run till Friday, 10th September under the theme of ‘Pathways to recovery and resilient food systems. In line with the upcoming global UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), the AGRF Summit intends to unite and elevate a single coordinated voice to the UNFSS, that will call for accelerated progress and post pandemic recovery towards inclusive agricultural transformation.
Kenyan president, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, will lead a presidential summit comprising 10 African heads of State to review the gains made in Africa’s agricultural landscape. The Summit will also advocate for the implementation of policy and political decisions necessary to drive food systems transformation on the continent.
This year’s Summit will include a commitments showcase, where AGRF partners and key stakeholders will highlight initiatives and commitments to transform food systems and accelerate Africa’s delivery of the 2030 targets.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Board Chair H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn said that the Summit marks a defining moment for transforming the continent’s food systems.
“Africa’s agriculture transformation will only happen if we collectively decide to advance past commitments. We know the binding constraints that have hindered progress in achieving national and continental agriculture priorities. This Summit brings us together to collaborate and hone our leadership and technical skills useful in unlocking sector implementation challenges. By actioning commitments and discussing challenges on our way, we can partner to empower African communities.”
A key session during the Summit includes a Farmers’ Forum. The forum, will put a spotlight on the continent’s farmers and discuss pathways to ensure they are thriving and contributing to building resilient food systems for the continent. Summit sessions will also look at how youth and women can be included and engaged to transform the continent’s food systems capitalizing
on their large numbers and education capacity, helping to provide guidance for policy, and evidence-based approaches that foster productive participation.
Kenya’s Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Hon. Peter Munya, said youth and women need to be the cornerstone of any solution for transforming Africa’s food systems.
“Engaging the youth and women in achieving food systems transformation is key to realising inclusive progress in the agriculture sector. Today, African youth and women represent an indispensable resource and as Government, we are tasked to ensure their energies and talents work to achieve our nation’s food and nutrition agenda. The Youth Town Hall during this summit will be integral for leaders and agricultural stakeholders to listen and chart ways the youth can be employed to advance food systems transformation, and I hope this roadmap will be embraced by other African countries.”
The Acting Managing Director AGRF, Ms. Jennifer Baarn said: “The AGRF 2021 Summit is critical for Africa’s agricultural and food systems development. However, if we do not advance the commitments we make today and throughout this week, we will not get to zero hunger. As Africa reels and rebuilds from the impact of COVID-19, rebuilding efforts must include smallholder farmers, the youth and women as they represent a sizeable percentage of Africa’s population. Our discussions should be inclusive and our plans hereafter should be achievable.”
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The AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. Under AGRF’s current strategy, the Forum is particularly focused on driving progress of the Malabo Declaration by 2025 as the priority set of commitments African Heads of State and Government have made to strengthen agricultural development at the center of the continent’s overall development and progress. The AGRF is organised by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation. https://agrf.org/
About the AGRF Partner’s Group
The AGRF Partners Group is made up of 26 leading actors in African agriculture all focused on putting farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economies. Members include: African Development Bank (AfDB), African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), African Union Commission (AUC), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Bayer AG, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), CGIAR System Organization, Corteva Agriscience, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Government of Rwanda, Grow Africa (AUDA-NEPAD), Heifer International, IKEA Foundation, International Development Research Center (IDRC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mastercard Foundation, OCP Group, Rockefeller Foundation, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), Syngenta Foundation, The Tony Blair Institute, UPL Limited, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Yara International ASA.