Mar 28, 2024 | Announcement, News

Rwanda to Host the Africa Food Systems Forum 2024 and Calls for Radical Transformation of African Food Systems.

Speakers during the launch ceremony advocate for a global and inclusive summit that is grounded on Africa’s food systems priorities to ensure food security for all.

Kigali, Rwanda – March 26th, 2024 – Rt. Hon Dr Èdouard Ngirente, Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda, has this afternoon officially launched the Africa Food Systems Forum 2024 annual summit, the premier forum for African agriculture and food systems in Kigali, Rwanda.

The theme for this year’s summit – Innovate, Accelerate and Scale: Delivering food systems transformation in a digital and climate era – underscores the urgent need to radically transform African food systems.This transformation should enhance local food production, bolster resilience to climate change, uplift African livelihoods, and harness the continent’s potential to tackle global challenges.

The theme highlights the need to prioritize three key actions: innovating, accelerating, and scaling up. Regarding innovation, the 2024 Summit will shine the spotlight on innovative policy delivery mechanisms, financing initiatives, research, and business models. As we evolve in a digital age, the summit will showcase cutting-edge technologies and equipment to manage climate impact, digital and financing gap, food waste and loss to name a few. Participants and delegates will have the opportunity at the Summit to network with the innovators and thought leaders driving these state-of-the-art technologies and developments.

Speaking at the launch, the Rt. Hon, Ngirente said, “To transform the agriculture sector into a powerful engine for economic development, our country is embracing innovation and making evidence-based-policy decisions. In this context, the Government has focused on de-risking the sector to ensure that it becomes more profitable and attractive for the youth and private sector actors,” he said.

The Prime Minister emphasized the imperative for African nations to bolster local production efforts. Emphasizing the critical link between local food production and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he stressed the significance of meeting domestic needs and fostering inter-African trade. Highlighting the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as a pivotal instrument for realizing these goals, his address also underscored the need to cultivate youth involvement in agriculture.

The AFS Forum will take place from September 2-6, 2024 in Kigali, Rwanda. The summit is expected to host approximately 5000 delegates from across the food systems eco system. Speaking to the significance of the event, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, the Chair of the AFS Forum Partner’s group, emphasized the pivotal role of youth in accelerating the delivery of sustainable and prosperous food system.

“With an abundance of emerging African young talents, remarkable innovations, and proven practices and solutions both locally and internationally, scaling up adaptation and replication is feasible. However, achieving this requires mobilizing actions and investments on a large scale, especially from the private sector,” he said.

The launch ceremony is the premier drum beat and kick start event towards the Africa Food Systems Annual Summit , in September. The summit will bring together business leaders, potential investors, high-ranking government officials, thought leaders, and farmers under the same roof to make the connections needed to unlock investment and financing opportunities for medium and small enterprises (MSMEs), youth, women and government-led deals and unleash the potential for faster, widespread, food systems transformation across Africa.

About AFS Forum

The Africa Food Systems Forum (AFS Forum), is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture and food systems, bringing together stakeholders to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African food systems forward. The Forum is a multi-sector platform comprising of 28 partners leading in African agriculture all focused on putting farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economies. The AFS Forum exists to progress Africa’s Food Systems and promote agricultural excellence across the diverse landscapes of our continent.

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) has the mission of promoting the sustainable development of a modern, efficient and competitive agriculture and livestock sector, to ensure food security, agriculture export and diversification of the productions for the benefit of the farmer and the economy of the Country.

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Mar 23, 2024 | Featured, News

Rwanda to host Africa food systems summit

The Africa Food Systems (AFS) Forum in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) will host the official launch of the Africa Food Systems Annual Summit 2024, on March 26, at the Kigali International Convention Center (KCC). AFS is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture and food systems, bringing together stakeholders to take practical action and share lessons that will move African food systems forward. The summit will be held from September 2 to 6, 2024, in Kigali.

Africa Food Systems Managing Director, Amath Pathé Sene, mentioned that the summit is timely this year, considering crises like Covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Israel-Hamas situation, and others impacting the African continent in various ways. “Currently we are still having issues in terms of food security and nutrition, but also jobs for youth and women which governments need to address, feeding your people and creating opportunity. There are challenges and gaps. It is only six years remaining to reach 2030 to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and one year for Malabo Declaration which must be accelerated,” he explained.

Under the Malabo Declaration, governments have to allocate at least 10 per cent of public expenditure to agriculture. However, Sene said that many countries are still lagging.

Africa Food Systems Managing Director, Amath Pathé Sene during the interview with The New Times. Photo by Emmanuel Dushimimana
Africa Food Systems Managing Director, Amath Pathé Sene during the interview with The New Times. Photo by Emmanuel Dushimimana

“Few of them—less than 10 out of the whole group—have reached that target and more is still needed. Apart from governments’ budget allocation, we still have a lot of gaps in private sector investments. Private sector investment is still very low in many countries. For instance, in Rwanda, agriculture loans are 6 per cent of total loans,” he said.

According to Oxfam International, the majority of African governments (48 out of 54) reportedly spend an average of 3.8 per cent of their budgets on agriculture—some as little as 1 per cent.

The goal of the forum is to scale up the continent’s efforts by drawing closer key stakeholders for a common purpose, to unleash the full potential of Africa’s millions of smallholder farmers and their families who earn their livelihoods from small-scale farms and produce about 80 per cent of the food and agricultural products consumed across the continent.

Only 1.7 per cent of total global climate finance is allocated to smallholder farmers.

“The sector requires innovative finance. For the simple reason, it is a risky sector on the African continent. There is a lot of gender and youth gap. Some of them do not own land or assets as well as technical capacity. The barriers need to be removed to help the system and enable a conducive environment.

“You can produce food but it needs to come to the market from the village to the city. The system needs to be connected. We need green and climate financing because when it is raining, or dry spells, we need to adapt better, we need blended finance, de-risking, public-private partnership,” he said.

Venture capital to support startups and other businesses with the potential for substantial and rapid growth, equity, loans, joint ventures, grants, and philanthropic resources are part of innovative financing to address food insecurity and create jobs for youth and women in agriculture, he said.

Sene said that there are huge opportunities for women and youth in agriculture. This is fundamental given Africa’s rapidly growing population – an estimated 440 million young people will enter the labour market in Africa by 2030 (IFAD 2023) – and the recent job losses caused by the pandemic.

“The sector can help us reverse our import bill which is currently at $60 billion and it will continue to grow if what is needed is not done at the country and continental level. We have to make sure that this sector is also modernised to attract young people and also reduce the burden of the work to women,” he said.

The summit will look at ways of increasing productivity through adequate financing, technical support, and capacity-building for smallholder farmers.

“We are in an era of urgency. The vulnerability of the continent to climate change is huge because we do not have the resources to deal with the shocks when there are droughts, floods, and landslides like last year in Rwanda. We really need to adapt to climate change. Countries have commitments on what to do every year. There are green funds to support countries. But the pledge has not yet been fulfilled,” Sene added.

Some of the expected September summit outcomes, he said, include learning from Africa’s food system, opportunities, collaboration and partnership between countries and continents, private sector players, farmers, new financing models to be shared, business opportunities for SMEs, access to latest technologies to be showcased, research products, deals to be signed, and more.

(article originally published: The New Times)

Oct 2, 2023 | News

We cannot achieve SDGs without Sustainable Food Systems – Reflections from the 2023 United Nations General Assembly in New York

By Boaz Blackie Keizire 

The General debate of the seventy-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly UNGA closed on September 26, 2023, in New York marking a crucial milestone in the journey towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. Hopping from meeting to meeting, I carefully listened to global policy and business leaders gathering in New York where they shared experiences and progress on attaining global sustainable Development goals.  As the implementation of these SDGs hit the halfway mark, steps being made towards food and agriculture-related targets have stagnated or reversed, compounding challenges in eradicating poverty and hunger, improving health nutrition, and combating climate change.

As we enter the second half of the SDGs’ countdown to 2030, we face formidable challenges that demand a redoubling of our efforts. The most recent data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) underscores that many of the SDG targets related to food and agriculture remain distant goals. The enduring repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with other crises like climate change and armed conflicts, exert far-reaching influences across all facets of the 2030 Agenda, encompassing poverty, food security, nutrition, health, and the environment.

The 2023 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report by the FAO has revealed that in 2022, global hunger figures ranged between 691 million and 783 million people. These statistics illustrate a disheartening trend: since 2015, the increase in the number of undernourished individuals worldwide has effectively reversed nearly all the progress achieved over the preceding decade. Furthermore, food insecurity has witnessed a significant rise, surging from 25.3 percent of the global population in 2019 to 29.6 percent in 2022.

During the UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment, convened by the UN Secretary-General and hosted by Italy last July in Rome, there was unanimous acknowledgement of the challenges facing our failing food systems. There was also recognition of the powerful role of sustainable, equitable, healthy, and resilient food systems in getting the world back on track to achieve the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. They committed to mobilizing all efforts towards the transformation of food systems to ensure a better future for everyone.

Sustainable food systems cut across the achievement of all the SDGs. However, current agricultural practices and systems are depleting our natural resources. Agriculture is the largest consumer of the world’s freshwater resources, one of the main contributors to greenhouse gasses, and more than one-quarter of the energy used globally is consumed on food production and supply.

During the Africa Food Systems (AFS) Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in early September, there was unanimous agreement that key solutions that exist must be scaled up to accelerate food systems transformation in Africa. We need to redouble our efforts to boost agricultural yields through sustainable agricultural practices to enhance food security while minimizing negative environmental impacts.

This is because our global food systems are the source of nearly one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, food systems are, and will be, among the hardest hit by climate change, thus, food systems transformation requires integration with our efforts to address climate change. This implies that, working towards the adaptation of food systems to climate change.

In addition, we need to increase investments in building the resilience of agricultural systems and reduce the vulnerability of food producers who depend on natural resources. Also, we need to align the implementation of national food systems transformation pathways with the continuous updates of nationally determined contributions and national adaptation plans for climate action. We also need to develop and implement food systems strategies, plans and business cases as well as enforce coordination amongst multiple institutions that govern food systems. This will ensure the coherence and collaboration needed and reduce duplication and burdens on countries and communities.

To advance food systems towards SDG compliance, effective policies are required that coordinate actions by different public and private stakeholders, to navigate the interactions between material, behavioral, and other drivers of change such as urbanization, economic growth, climate change, information, and connectivity.

It’s important to note that, the transformation of food systems entails deep shifts across production, storage, consumption, and disposal of food. These have the potential to generate multiplier effects, acting as catalysts for broader transformation across multiple systems and SDGs. By reimagining and redesigning our food systems, we can address pressing challenges and unlock opportunities for progress in other areas.

Equally, by building sustainable food systems, we can be able to eradicate poverty through the increase of nutritious food, enhance agricultural productivity, and create income-generating activities for our smallholder farmers, including women and youth.

In conclusion, as we approach 2030, there is urgency to build momentum, as well as embrace solidarity and speed up progress on the SDGs, Paris Agreement, and Africa Union Malabo Declaration on Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program. I wish to offer a few solutions, First, we need to bring Food Systems into the Climate Process. The government of United Arab Emirates UAE is leading efforts for COP28 and we congratulate them for picking up from the work started in Glasgow at COP26, continued in Sharm-el-Sheikh last year, to bring food systems transformation into the climate process. Second, we need to press ahead on the opportunities created by food systems transformation. Third, we need to solve the finance problem and change the global financing architecture to respond to the unique food systems transformation. We need to mobilize and direct financing in a coordinated manner.  Deploy financial incentives to induce change and increase investments in innovation and green technology to enhance resilience and productivity for small and medium producers. We can seize this moment to unite efforts to eliminate poverty and hunger, as we advance towards an inclusive and sustainable future. We need to keep in mind that food systems transformation is not just a goal, but a catalyst for achieving our climate goals and all the SDGs.

Boaz Blackie Keizire is the Head of Policy,Advocacy and Food Systems at AGRA and also a 2017 Fellow for the Aspen New Voices Fellowship. Boaz also Heads the Africa Food Prize Secretariat

Mar 18, 2023 | News

Tanzania President announces the Africa Food System Forum 2023 Summit and calls for inclusion of youth and women as critical drivers of Africa’s food systems agenda

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 17th March 2023 – Her Excellency Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, has today officially launched Africa’s Food System Forum 2023, Africa’s premier platform for advancing the agriculture and food systems agenda on the continent, at State House, Tanzania.

The theme of this year’s Forum – Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation – is anchored around building back better Food Systems and Food Sovereignty. It identifies three steps needed to achieve this transformation: Recovery: a call for decisive strategies and actions to help the continent recover and rebuild its food systems following multiple crises and shocks; Regenerate: which calls for the need to regenerate the natural resources, such as soil and water, which are essential for sustainable food production, and Act: which refers to the need to take urgent action to address food systems challenges, such as climate change, food waste, and food insecurity at only seven years before the 2030 SDG deadline.

The forum will spotlight the role of women and youth through a re-energized commitment in the food systems conversation, with a focus on regenerating interest in agriculture as a means of wealth creation for the continent.

Speaking at the launch in Dar es Salaam today, President Suluhu spotlighted the role of youth and women as critical to Africa’s food systems agenda

Speaking at the launch, H.E. President Samia Suluhu said:

“The hosting of the Africa’s Food System Forum 2023 is of importance to our nation where more than 25 percent of our GDP relies on the agricultural sector. For many years, Tanzania’s agriculture was based on subsistence farming. Today, the Government of Tanzania has intentionally made it a goal to prioritize this sector to create livelihoods for our people. We are doing this through various programmes borne out of our hosting and learnings of the 2012 AGRF Summit and our focus on ensuring that the youth are a priority in investment and agricultural reform in our country. It is my hope that the hosting of this forum in our country is one step forward and a good start to achieve the results we expect in our agricultural sector.

In addition, Tanzania as the host of this forum announces to the world that our country aims to become a food granary for Africa and the world in general. I would like to call on the international community, partners of Africa’s Food Systems Forum, the private sector and development partners to participate fully in the upcoming forum on the development of the agricultural sector to strengthen food systems in Africa.”

In his remarks, the Chair of the Africa Food Systems Forum H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn highlighted the importance of the continent moving beyond planning to curb food insecurity, to executing and actualizing commitments, and called for innovation, partnership, leadership and home-grown solutions to respond to emergent agricultural and food systems challenges.

“Our challenges around food system challenges will only get worse unless we work together to drive meaningful change. The difference between the Africa we seek to see and the Africa we shall become by 2060 is all dependent on the decisions we as leaders make and the supporting infrastructure, investments and policies in transforming food systems to produce sufficient, nutritious food in the changing social, political and climatic conditions.

As we rally towards the next Africa’s Food Systems Forum, it is important that we deepen our efforts to scale up our homegrown solutions and partnerships.” He said.

The Africa Food Systems Forum will take place from September 5th-8th 2023 in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, with a pre-summit event scheduled for September 4th 2023. Launch. The summit will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including leaders, policymakers, scientists, heads of governments and private institutions, farmers, and youth, to agree on practical actions and solutions. These discussions are crucial to driving Africa’s food security forward and creating better livelihoods for all.


Catherine Ndungu- Senior Communications Officer, AGRF
+250 791 568 865 cndungu@edaudMedia contact – Eugene Nganga – +254 703 516 173

Sep 6, 2021 | News, Press Release

Agriculture stakeholders plan sustainable and resilient food systems for Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 6, 2021: Farmers, heads of state and other government officials, scientists, and representatives of the private sector and civil society are gathering for the 11th edition of the AGRF Summit to engage on how to create a sustainable and resilient food system in Africa.

Themed “Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems”, this year’s forum will open up a robust conversation with various African leaders on ways to accelerate the process of building and developing Africa’s food systems. The Alliance of a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is one of the partners in the event hosted by the Government of Kenya.

Commenting on the summit that runs from September 7 to 10, AGRA President Dr Agnes Kalibata, emphasised the need to urgently address challenges hindering sustainable food systems such as poverty and hunger, adverse impacts of climate change and health issues.

“This is an opportunity for the continent to collaboratively define what needs to happen in order to get our food systems right. We need to focus on boosting our productivity and innovatively fixing our food system in its entirety to deliver food and nutrition security for all,” Dr. Agnes Kalibata said.

The AGRF 2021 Summit is critical for the future of Africa’s agriculture. It is a defining moment to highlight and unlock many of the political, policy, and financial commitments and innovations the continent has achieved and needed to advance the commitments made at the Malabo Heads of State Summit and towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This years’ event also features a Virtual 2021 Agribusiness Deal Room, a matchmaking platform that aims to drive new business deals and commitments. Through the Deal Room, companies in the agriculture and agribusiness sectors have an opportunity to access finance, mentorship, and market entry solutions to support their growth objectives. It also creates opportunities for governments to present investment opportunities, promote investment incentives and engage with interested investors. Participants will also explore trade deals and partnership opportunities that enhance sourcing from African smallholder farmers.

Other highlights of the AGRF 2021 Summit include: Farmers’ Forum, announcement of the Africa Food Prize 2021 and release of this year’s Africa Agriculture Status Report.

Also taking part in the summit is AGRA’s Board Chair and former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Hailemariam Dessalegn.

About AGRA

AGRA is a farmer-centered, African-led, partnerships-driven institution that is working to transform smallholder farming from a solitary struggle to survive to a business that thrives. In collaboration with its partners—including African governments, researchers, development partners, the private sector and civil society— AGRA’s work primarily focuses on smallholder farmers – men and women who typically cultivate staple crops on two hectares or less. AGRA has learned a lot from efforts during its first decade and is now recognized across the continent as a strong voice for African rural development, a prosperous agricultural economy, and for supporting thousands of small African businesses and millions of African families to improve agriculture as a way to ensure food security and improve their livelihoods.

About the AGRF

The African Green Revolution Forum was first held in 2006 as the African Green Revolution Conference (AGRC), hosted by Yara International ASA in Norway. The conference moved to Africa in 2010 with the championing of former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, who oversaw its transition to an African identity. The Forum now consists of an annual event combined with thematic platforms and activities throughout the year to ensure continuous progress over time. Kenya is the third country, after Rwanda and Ghana, to host the event twice, having successfully hosted the 2016 edition. Afterwards, Rwanda will host the event in alternate years, having been named the home of the AGRF seat. Other AGRF member countries will host the Forum in the years between. In its current format, the AGRF is organized by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation. 

For Media Inquiries Contact:

Hudson Sandler

Evelyne Wangui: +254 726 087451

Eugene Ng’ang’a: +254 703 516173

For more information on the AGRF agenda and partners, visit

Jul 28, 2021 | News, Press Release

AGRF and Heifer International Launch Pitch AgriHack 2021

Competition provides cash grants to innovators, increasing use of technology and creating jobs across Africa’s agricultural sector

Nairobi: The AGRF and Heifer International today announced the launch of Pitch AgriHack 2021, a competition focused on accelerating entrepreneurial growth and job creation in the agriculture sector by leveraging advanced technologies and youth participation in Africa’s
food security agenda. This seventh edition of Pitch AgriHack is a pitching contest aimed exclusively at African businesses bringing technological innovation to the agriculture sector. Generation Africa, a thematic platform of the AGRF will host the competition.

The open competition portion of Pitch AgriHack 2021 will support companies that are driving innovation in agriculture across three categories-Early-stage, Mature/Growth-stage, and Women-led, with prizes totalling US$45,000. A fourth invite-only category known as the AYuTe Africa Challenge, sponsored by Heifer International, will award up to $1.5 million in grants to scalable ventures that are already generating measurable impact for Africa’s smallholder farmers.

“As a continent with a thriving youth population, Africa’s agricultural sector must look to its youth for the innovation that will fuel the future growth of this strategically important sector,” said Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President for Africa Programs at Heifer International. “Integrating youth and technology in the agricultural sector will transform the continent, creating new jobs and income-generating opportunities for young Africans”.

In addition to its sponsorship of Pitch AgriHack 2021, Heifer International is partnering with Generation Africa to run this year’s competition. Both organizations have a shared vision of eradicating hunger and poverty through sustainable, community-led development that begins with agriculture.

“It’s a privilege to have an established and experienced non-profit organization like Heifer International on board,” said Head of Generation Africa, Dickson Naftali. “ At Generation Africa, we believe that food systems can change if we collaboratively support young African agrifood entrepreneurs. Pitch AgriHack 2021 can give access to the tools and expertise they
need to make their businesses successful.”

Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and Special Envoy to the UN Food Systems Summit, said, “We are excited to welcome Heifer International as it partners with the AGRF and Generation Africa on Pitch AgriHack 2021. By working together, sharing knowledge, and
supporting mutually beneficial projects, we can make a bigger impact and drive agricultural transformation in Africa. We want young people across Africa to hear our message – the future of food and farming depends on them.”

Six winners will be selected from the open-application categories and two winners from the invite-only AYuTe Africa Challenge category, with winners announced at the AGRF Summit which takes place September 7-10 in Nairobi. Top contestants will receive a one-day boot
camp in preparation for their final pitches, with winners receiving continued support as they develop and grow their enterprises.

Business profiles of the finalists will also be published in a Deal Book for circulation at the AGRF and online, while individual profiles will be made public on the platform and reviewed for relevance to their investor community.

Applications are open July 27 to August 16, 2021


For 77 years, Heifer International has worked with more than 36 million people around the
world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities
across Africa for 47 years, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to
strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income. For
information, visit

Generation Africa is a thematic platform of the AGRF, whose mandate is to strengthen the
ecosystem for youth entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector across Africa. From its start in
2019, Generation Africa has brought together industry leaders, government institutions,
NGOs, NPOs, and community platforms to collaborate on ecosystem development, curation
and support of agribusinesses, research and advocacy, and the inspiration of young people
to embrace opportunities in the agrifood sector. Find out more at

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 centre 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. For more information visit

Contact: Jane Machigere

Jul 8, 2021 | News, Press Release

AGRF stakeholders calls for strong leadership as Africa defines its vision for the future of food systems in the upcoming AGRF 2021 Summit in September

The AGRF 2021 Summit program will feature new commitments to the Future Food Systems on equitable livelihoods, nutrition & health, resilience, and competitiveness.

Nairobi, Kenya, July 8, 2021— A line up of 500 guests, including governments, private sector, youth, women leaders and farmer organization will convene in Nairobi, Kenya on September 6-10 for the AGRF 2021 Summit under the leadership of H.E Uhuru Kenyatta. They are expected to be joined virtually by over 10,000 delegates from more than 150 countries for the Summit, which will focus on accelerating progress towards the development of resilient food systems on the continent.

Under the theme of Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems, this year’s AGRF Summit will put a spotlight on new commitments to the future of African food systems and showcase how resilience will be built out of leadership at all levels.

The Summit will have a special focus on the role of women and youth in transforming Africa’s food systems with various issues faced by these groups expected to dominate the discussions at the First Ladies Forum and the Youth Hall respectively.

The former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and AGRF Board Chair, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, said that he was inspired to see Africans leaders make Agriculture as priority but noted that a lot more needed to be done.

“Now more than ever we must prioritise inclusive agricultural transformation. We must work collaboratively
to ensure that policy, technology and finances respond to the needs of our farmers. This is critical to achieve
zero hunger across the continent and around the globe. H.E. Dessalegn added.

Co-organized with the Government of Kenya, with the support of 26 partner institutions, this year’s Summit comes at a pivotal time when global voices convene under the Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) to shift the conversation on how food is produced and consumed and the role it plays to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

As part of its contribution to the UNFSS, the AGRF 2021 Summit aims to elevate the single, coordinated African voice, by identifying immediate actions and steps to be taken to accelerate progress towards the development of resilient food systems.

Representing the host government, Kenya’s Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, the Hon. Peter Munya, said the conversation at the AGRF needs to extend beyond agriculture and consider the food system from farm to fork.

“We must change the way we approach and prioritize food systems on the continent. We can no longer
limit food systems to the farm. Our approach must reflect the complexity and importance of food systems
and value of collaboration, as governments, the private sector, development partners and consumers, to
deliver more inclusive and resilient food systems on the continent,” he said.

COVID-19 highlighted the fragility of the continent’s food systems. Lockdowns, curfews and illnesses revealed threats in supply throughout Africa, and the pandemic was another example of the need to build more resilient food systems on the continent. Since 2014, droughts have cost the region US$372 billion. While the worst locust outbreak in a generation in Ethiopia and Somalia during 2019/20 destroyed over 356,000MT of cereals and almost 1.5 million hectares of crop and pasture in Ethiopia.

The AGRF 2021 Summit will provide a platform for all stakeholders to align on the actions and commitments needed to build resilient food systems which end hunger and support the delivery of the sustainable development goals.

Jennifer Baarn, Acting Managing Director AGRF said, the AGRF 2021 Summit is a defining moment for Africa’s food systems. “This is our time to create our own vision for Africa’s food systems,” she said. It is our time to listen, innovate, plan and invest for Africa. What we invest in African agriculture today will determine the future of food in Africa and the world tomorrow,” she added.

Some of the key highlights at this year’s AGRF 2021 Summit will include the Agribusiness Deal Room, a platform connecting entrepreneurs and governments with investors. This year the deal room is aiming to showcase a pipeline of USD 5 billion of investment opportunities across Africa. The Summit will also feature the Africa Food Prize, a Presidential Summit, and a Ministerial Roundtable.

This year’s launch attracted among other dignitaries, Hon. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda, and Hon. Salifou Ouedraogo, Minister of Agriculture, Bukina Faso. It was also graced by David Nabarro, Special Envoy on Covid-19 for the World Health Organisation; Godfrey Bahigwa, Director of Rural Economy and Agriculture at African Union Commission, among other guests.

For Media Inquiries Contact:

Eugene Ng’ang’a
Tel +254 703 516 173

About the AGRF

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.

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, 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.