Dec 1, 2023 | Featured, Press Release

Opinion paper: The ‘Loss and Damage Fund’ must work for the most vulnerable.

Co-authored by Dr. Agnes Kalibata (President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) & Amath Pathe SENE (Managing Director of the Africa Food Systems Forum)

As the world converges in Dubai for COP28 today, the urgent need to massively scale up action to address the “loss and damage” from climate change becomes increasingly clear in developing countries. Climate change is now an undeniable reality, causing irreversible losses and damages to the most vulnerable communities, ecosystems, and regions around the world, particularly in Africa. The principle of “Loss and Damage” highlights the need to go beyond adaptation and mitigation and acknowledges the irreversible adverse impacts and the economic losses that is already under way as a result of years of inaction/ denial and lack of attention to climate change issues. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable countries in the world have the least ability to stop or even protect themselves from the impact of climate change. For these countries, a functional Loss and damage Fund will go a long way to help recover from damage and build some form of resilience.  Make no mistake, neither this fund nor anything for that matter can bring back life that is lost or recover years of livelihood that is lost in one night of a flood in Rwanda, Kenya, Pakistan or Bangladesh to name but a few.  So this is not about reparations.

It is now a very well-known fact that Africa has contributed very little to the climate crisis at less than three percent of global emissions.  Nonetheless, it is the continent that suffers the most from the losses and damages induced by climate change and has the least resilience and lowest adaptive capacities.

Home to over 1.4 billion people, Africa is the most vulnerable region in the world to climate change-induced natural disasters including extreme temperatures, recurring droughts, floods including riverine floods, dust storms, and heatwaves, as well as extreme weather events and rising sea levels. These impacts disproportionately affect vulnerable region such as the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the countries along the Equator but also African communities, primarily smallholder farmers who represent 60 percent of the workforce in food systems value chains producing 70-80 percent of the continent’s food.

Climate change related damages are significantly pronounced in agriculture because of the sector’s dependence on rainfall in Africa. This affects not only livelihoods and food security, but also energy production, water resources, the environment, health, and the gross domestic product (GDP), particularly when the losses force governments to redirect public resources to food imports, social protection and food aid to address humanitarian crises and losses and damages caused by climate shocks. In the affected countries, where agriculture is a key sector (accounting for more than 43 percent of GDP in 2018), these impacts can reduce national GDP by up to four percent per year. Of course, this has now been exacerbated by COVID19 and the global security situation which has reduced average national GDP by up to 10%.

These adverse conditions and more frequent extreme climate events make it increasingly difficult for farmers to produce, store, and market food. Food shortages cause prices to rise and contribute to price volatility. This, in turn, fuels poverty and social and political marginalization, leaving a growing cohort of young people at risk and giving rise to violent extremism. Today, climate change has potentially far-reaching implications for national, regional, and global stability and security in economic, social, and environmental terms.

In the debate on the reform of the global financial system, it is also important to highlight the rising debt levels of African countries and the increasing frequency and severity of climate shocks that are slowing growth and eroding decades of developmental gains. The compounding nature of these challenges has deteriorated these countries’ public finances, weakening their resilience to climate shocks, and limiting their capacity to address losses and damages from climate impacts further. According to the IMF-World Bank Debt Sustainability Framework for Low-Income Countries (LIC-DSF), seven African countries are already in debt distress, 18 are at high risk, and 13, at moderate risk. In 2019, Cyclones Idai and Kenneth drove Mozambique’s public debt to almost 110 percent of its GDP, these difficulties are compounded by the impacts of more recent crises, namely the Russia-Ukraine and the Israel-Palestine wars and increasing dollar interest rates that are seriously undermining efforts of developing nations the most important SDGs of keeping poverty under check and the ability of nations to feed their people (SDGs 1 and 2).

At COP27, in Egypt last year, the decision to create the Loss and Damage Fund represented a historical breakthrough, as it recognized the injustice in the distribution of the burden and responsibility of copying with the impact of climate changes. The stated goal of the Loss and Damage Fund is to provide financial assistance to developing countries to deal with the negative consequences of climate change and help them rebuild the necessary physical and social infrastructure.

Since last year, negotiations have been underway to address many considerations and make this fund operational. Recognizing the urgent need for a coordinated response, it is the hope and expectation of many that leaders at COP28 come up with the resources for the fund’s establishment and define a clear timeframe for its operationalization. We appreciate the amount of work underway to operationalize this fund with the consensus now to host it at the World Bank for a trial period of four years.

From an African lens and as we listen to the voices of smallholder farmers and most vulnerable communities, here are key elements worth taking into account at COP28 for the loss and damage fund:

  1. Speed and urgent action: Setting up this fund is not only a moral imperative but a critical step in addressing the severe, and in many cases irreversible, consequences of climate change. In the past, the various funds created to support the climate agenda took years to become operational, while the impacts of climate change continued to become more ferocious and more frequent and visible. For Instance, The Adaptation Fund was created by COP7 in 2001, but became operational in 2007. So far, it has only disbursed around US$1 billion. As for the Green Climate Fund, after its establishment, some UN agencies took more than two to three years just to get accredited and many African Countries and Institutions still struggle to access the Fund.  We applaud the setup of the Loss and Damage Fund at the World Bank hope that it will be adequately capitalized, agile accessible and timely enough to be of value to those that need it.


  1. Sufficient funding: It is far more expensive to deal with losses and damages than to invest in climate change adaptation or mitigation – not only in monetary terms, but also when we consider the physical and emotional toll of climate impacts on most vulnerable communities, as they watch their fragile asset base being washed away or wiped out. Although governments gathered in Paris in 2015 pledged US$100 billion per year for climate finance, the resources of all climate funds together – including the environmental funds (Green Climate Fund, Global Environmental Fund, and Adaptation Fund) are still well below US$20 billion per year. Therefore, much greater efforts are urgently needed to make good on previous commitments and come up with the resources necessary to support affected regions in rebuilding their infrastructure, restoring ecosystems, adapting to a changing climate, and addressing losses and damages. And if capacities to generate proposals for funding are weak, let the countries’ capacities be supported. While the negotiations are suggesting developing countries to also contribute into the lost and damage fund like the developed countries, let’s note that several African countries are already in debt distress partially induced by climate impacts which they are historically responsible. Hence, from an African lens, at least most African LDC countries, countries under debt distress Small Island Developing States should not be contributing to this fund.


  1. Strong, robust – but also flexible – mechanisms for compensation: The African continent is committed to the establishment of a mechanism to compensate communities and nations for losses that are unavoidable, despite adaptation and preparedness efforts. This will require the fund to operate based on clear, simple criteria, transparency, fairness, and accountability. Countries should, similar to other World Bank instruments have direct access and not go through intermediaries to access the fund.


  1. Integrated climate risk management (risk preparedness, risk reduction, and risk transfer): To minimize losses and damages and use of the fund, it is important that the Fund allocates a significant portion of its resources to the most vulnerable countries for integrated climate risk management, which combines risk preparedness, risk reduction, and risk transfer mechanisms. This model is the best way to limit the magnitude of potential loss and damages. In relation to preparedness, the Fund should address the need to strengthen climate information and early warning systems (CIEWS) that provide robust climate data to governments, smallholder farmers, and other relevant stakeholders to enable them to make more informed decisions and adopt effective preventative and adaptive measures to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. The Fund should also work with other funds that specifically support risk preparedness as a precondition for accessing compensation. The said climate risk preparedness actions should be combined with climate risk reduction measures aimed at enabling vulnerable farmers to adopt best climate adaptation and mitigation practices using data from strengthened CIEWS help inform farmers’ choices. To make this integration model efficient, climate risk preparedness and reduction should be linked to climate risk transfer (micro and macro agricultural insurance). The Africa Risk Capacity, aSpecialized Agency of the African Union established to help African governments improve their capacities to better plan, prepare, and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters can play a key role.


  1. Support during climate disasters and events: Governments should prioritize support for vulnerable populations, including indigenous communities, women, and marginalized groups, who often bear the brunt of climate-related impacts. It is important to develop contingency plans for all vulnerable areas and communities identified.


  1. Replenishment of the fund: The plans to finance the Loss and Damage Fund should include targets for regular replenishments from countries with high emissions. The fund could also receive resources from partners such as international donors, development agencies, and philanthropic organizations. It should also work closely with other entities that share the Loss and Damage Fund’s vision.


  1. Private sector involvement: The fund should encourage private sector involvement through public private partnerships, climate bonds, climate insurance, and corporate social responsibility initiatives.


  1. Governance and administration: In the current global climate change negotiations, parties are suggesting that the World Bank act as the Fund’s interim host. While we know that this is a temporary solution, our proposal is that the Fund be in Africa, at the African Development Bank with clear guidelines on expediency.


Furthermore, an independent oversight body that includes UNCCC, representation of donors and receiving countries would ensure transparency agility, accountability and  the desired impact and prevent any conflicts of interest. This body could also perform technical evaluations and validations of the losses and damages and assess the premiums to be paid per country based on clearly defined criteria. Additionally, it is important to ensure proper representation and participation of affected communities, civil society, youth, women, and experts in climate science and adaptation in such a body.


The Loss and Damage Fund should have a robust M&E system to track the effectiveness and impacts of the projects it supports. This should include regular reviews and updates of the Fund’s objectives so as to align them with the evolving

Sep 8, 2023 | Press Release

Africa Food Systems Forum 2023 Concludes with Calls to Scale up Existing Solutions to Accelerate Systems Transformation

  • 5400+ delegates, 5 Heads of State, 30 Ministers from 90 countries participate in the Africa Food systems Forum 2023
  • Key solutions exist and must be scaled up to accelerate food systems transformation on the continent.
  • Collaboration remains the beacon of progress for a food secure Africa.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – September 8, 2023: The Africa Food Systems Forum 2023 has officially ended today with calls to scale up existing solutions to accelerate food systems transformation.

The 13th Annual Forum provided a platform to reflect on the coordinated large-scale action by the continent’s leading thinkers, policymakers, and innovators to explore the latest breakthroughs and best practices in agriculture and food systems transformation. Speakers at the Forum called for bold thought leadership to accelerate action toward translating food systems pathways and commitments into actionable strategies, particularly to address climate.  During the four-day Forum, various institutions made commitments to accelerate investments in youth and women and to build a better tomorrow.

Hon Hussein Mohamed Bashe, the Minister for Agriculture in Tanzania stated that his government was committed to putting youth and women at the center of the Food Systems transformation. He acknowledged the role of private sector and called for equitable investments.

“Smallholder farmers in Africa do not need your help, they need their right equitable share of investment in the global funding”. he said.

Mr. Amath Pathe, the Managing Director of the Africa Food Systems Forum thanked H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of


Tanzania for the remarkable hospitality by her government. “This is the highest number of delegates the Africa Food Systems Forum has hosted so far, he said. He highlighted the pivotal role of country-level actions in rejuvenating food systems.

Discussions held at the Forum illustrated that collaboration remains the beacon of progress. They reinforced that partnerships among governments, businesses, civil society, farmers’ organizations, and research institutions will shape a future where sustainable and prosperous food systems shape Africa’s progress.

Read the full summit communiqué here.


For details and any inquiries, please contact:

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About the Africa Food Systems Forum

Africa Food Systems Forum is the world’s premier forum on African agriculture and food systems, bringing together stakeholders to take practical action and share lessons that will move African food systems forward.

For detailed information on the agenda and speakers, please visit


Sep 5, 2023 | Press Release

2023 Africa Agriculture Status Report Released

The report calls for a concerted response from governments, the private sector, communities, and individuals alike in empowering Africa’s Food Systems for the Future

  • 650 million Africans—50% of the continent’s population—lack economic or physical access to sufficient food.
  • If AfCFTA’s goals are fully realized, 50 million people could escape extreme poverty by 2035.

DAR-ES-SALAM, Tanzania – September 5, 2023: The 2022 Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR23) was launched today with the message that the repercussions of inaction are not just confined to hunger and malnutrition but extend to economic, social, and environmental domains, with the potential to undermine the progress made over the years. The new study underscores the need to address the challenges affecting African food systems considering the imminent threat posed by climate change, and the potential consequences of inaction.

Titled “Empowering Africa’s Food Systems”, AASR23 offers an in-depth exploration of the vulnerabilities, challenges, and transformative potential of the continent’s food systems. This timely report delves into a holistic understanding of the intricacies of African food systems from socio-economic vulnerabilities to the pivotal role of knowledge and technology, while highlighting the urgent need for innovative financing.

“This report strives to show that Innovative Finance is not just a buzzword – it is an essential tool for Africa’s journey towards sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food systems. As the continent faces the dual challenges of rapid population growth and climate change, finding new financing mechanisms will be paramount in shaping a prosperous and secure food future for all its citizens,” said AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata.

Out of the 50 indicators outlined in the Food Systems Countdown Initiative (FSCI) framework, sub-Saharan African countries are performing worse than the global average in a total of 32 indicators mostly related to diets, nutrition, and health. On the other hand, sub-Saharan African countries are performing better than the global average in the remaining 18 indicators, including those on food systems’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and biosphere integrity. The above is accentuated by the fact that up to 650 million Africans—50% of the continent’s population—lack economic or physical access to sufficient food to meet their minimum needs every day (BCG, 2021).

While African governments are committed to tripling intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services by 2025 as part of the 2014 Malabo Declaration, the aspiration is far-fetched as this kind of trade continues to dwindle from its peak in 2013 to less than 15 percent in 2022. However, if fully implemented, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could raise household income by 9% by 2035 while lifting 50 million people out of extreme poverty. Africa could see foreign direct investment increase by between 111% and 159% under the AfCFTA.

The Report offers a deep dive into the underlying challenges that have historically held back the potential of the continent’s vast natural resources. Overall, despite progress in food production, processing, and distribution, significant challenges and failures persist leading to an alarmingly poor state of food and nutrition security across the continent.  The Report unveils a multifaceted web of challenges that stretch from production to consumption. While daunting, these challenges provide a clear call for a concerted response from governments, the private sector, communities, and individuals alike.

“The findings in this year’s AASR are not just a reflection of the current challenges but also a roadmap for future actions, guiding the continent towards food systems where every African will have access to sustainable healthy diets,” said Dr. John M. Ulimwengu, the Report’s lead author.


Sep 4, 2023 | Press Release

Africa Food Systems Forum 2023: Dar es Salaam Gathers 4000+ Delegates to Address Africa’s Food Systems Transformation Goals.

  • Tanzania’s agriculture minister, Hon. Hussein Bashe said this year’s summit will place emphasis on women and youth empowerment
  • The summit will set the ground for a coordinated African voice ahead of the 28th Climate Change Convention (CoP28)


Dar es Salaam, September 4, 2023 – The 13th annual Africa Food Systems Forum is set to convene in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from September 5-8, 2023, under the leadership of H. E President Samia Suluhu Hassan.


Under the theme ‘Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation’ the event will bring together over 4,000 delegates, leaders, and innovators from across the globe in discussions around policy breakthroughs and innovation in agriculture and food systems transformation.


The country’s Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Hussein Bashe, emphasized that the Forum represents a significant milestone in the journey towards inclusive and sustainable food systems transformation throughout the continent.


“This year’s summit places a strong emphasis on empowering women and youth, recognizing their pivotal roles in reshaping Africa’s food landscape,” he said, during a press conference at State House, where he also officially welcomed delegates to the country.


In his speech, the Minister touched on how Tanzania is  working to address food security and job creation through the “Building a Better Tomorrow: Youth Initiative for Agribusiness (BBT-YIA),” initiative, which aims to provide agribusiness training to 200,000 youth, and support to 15,000 youth-led agribusiness ventures in Tanzanian villages over the next five years.


Aligning with these initiatives, Africa Food Systems Forum 2023 will specifically address the optimization of youth employment within Africa’s food systems, while showcasing the innovative agribusiness ventures driven by young entrepreneurs.


Amath Pathe Sene, the Managing Director of the Africa Food Systems Forum, underscored the pressing need for leadership and inclusion in tackling the continent’s food system challenges.


“It is imperative that we make our voices heard, develop solutions that are rooted in our local context, and give paramount importance to the empowerment of women and youth in the process of transforming our food systems,” he said.


In addition to driving conversation and action around Africa’s food system transformation, Africa’s Food Systems Forum 2023 will also build momentum for impactful dialogue ahead of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in Dubai, through a strong call for a coordinated African voice in climate action.


Key highlights of the Dar summit include: thematic plenary sessions with expert speakers, a ministerial roundtable involving 81 ministers, and a high-level session, where Heads of States will make commitments to advance Africa’s Food Systems transformation.



For detailed information on the agenda and speakers, please visit



About Africa Food Systems Forum

Africa Food Systems Forum is the world’s premier forum on African agriculture and food systems, bringing together stakeholders to take practical action and share lessons that will move African food systems forward.


May 12, 2023 | Press Release

Registration opens for the highly anticipated Africa Food Systems Forum’s 2023 Summit (AGRF 2023)

Dodoma, Tanzania, May 12th, 2023 – (Hon. Hussein Bashe with Mr. Amath Pathe Sene, MD Africa’s Food Systems Forum during the registration launch of the AGRF 2023 Summit in Dodoma. The Summit will take place in Dar es Salaam from Sep 5-8 with a pre-summit event on Sep 4, 2023.)


  • Forum launch was led by Hon Hussein Bashe, Minister for Agriculture – United Republic of Tanzania
  • Calls for a shift in the global narrative on food systems from a scientific dialogue to an economic dialogue.
  • Emphasises that youth and women are central to achieving food sovereignty in Africa.

12 May 2023 Dodoma Tanzania – Hon Hussein Mohamed Bashe, Minister for Agriculture -United Republic of Tanzania has today officially launched registrations for Africa’s Food Systems Forum 2023 Summit (AGRF 2023) in Dodoma, Tanzania. The summit will take place in Dar es Salaam Tanzania from September 4-8, 2023. This year’s summit will spotlight Africa’s leadership and innovation toward food security under the theme Recover, Regenerate Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation.

In his remarks, Hon. Bashe highlighted that Africa’s food demand will increase by 50% in the coming years, posing challenges to food security but also offering opportunities for food systems transformation. He emphasized that the AGRF 2023 Summit will provide a platform for African leaders and innovators to showcase local solutions to food systems and security. He encouraged delegates from Tanzania and beyond to join the summit and called for a shift in the global conversation on food security and nutrition. “We must shift the dialogue on food security and nutrition from a scientific dialogue to a business conversation. We must connect the to business empowerment and poverty eradication,” he said.

The AGRF 2023 Summit aspires to position Africa as the place for innovation and investments that advances a stronger more diverse and resilient food system. The summit will highlight the need for decisive strategies to rebuild food systems after crises, regenerate natural capital resources through innovation and adaptation practices as well as purpose to take action to accelerate food systems transformation through improved policies, practices, and investments.

In his remarks, Mr. Amath Pathe Sene, the Managing Director of the Forum said, “more Local production, strategic investments, innovation, and effective policies are the driving forces behind the transformative journey towards sustainable food systems. By empowering local communities, particularly youth and women fostering innovation, and implementing supportive policies, we can pave the way for resilient and inclusive food systems.”

The AGRF 2023 Summit will feature a dynamic program comprising plenary sessions, interactive discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Attendees will have the opportunity to share best practices and explore innovative solutions that can revolutionize Africa’s agriculture and food systems.

In addition to the discussions, the AGRF 2023 Summit will feature scheduled field visits providing participants with a practical understanding of local food systems. It will also showcase successful models of sustainable agriculture in action.

For more information and to register for Africa’s Food Systems Forum 2023 Summit, please visit

Media Contacts:

Hudson Kamonga – Ministry of Agriculture –

Catherine Ndungu (Snr. Communications and Advocacy Officer- AGRF) –

About Africa’s Food Systems Forum:

Africa’s Food Systems Forum- 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. The Forum is a multi-sector platform comprising of 26 partners leading in African agriculture all focused on putting farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economies. The AGRF exists to progress Africa’s Food Systems and promote agricultural excellence across the diverse landscapes of our continent.

About the Ministry of Agriculture – United Republic of Tanzania

The Ministry of Agriculture exists to deliver quality agricultural and cooperative services, provide a conducive environment to stakeholders, build the capacity of local Government Authorities, and facilitate the private sector to contribute effectively to sustainable agricultural production, productivity, and cooperative development.

Feb 17, 2023 | Press Release

H.E. Jakaya Kikwete announced as Africa Food Prize Chair

2023 Nominations for Africa’s preeminent award for food security now open

ADDIS ABABA, 17 February 2023 – Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Dr.
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, has been announced as the new Chair of the Africa Food Prize (AFP). He will
succeed former Nigerian President, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, who has been serving as the AFP Chair
since 2016.

Welcoming the appointee, outgoing Chair, H.E. Obasanjo expressed enthusiasm noting that through
his work, H.E. Kikwete has shown a genuine passion and dedication towards transforming Africa’s
“I congratulate Dr. Kikwete on his appointment as Chair of the Africa Food Prize. Through his
leadership, I am confident that the continent will continue to explore and implement food systems
strategies that lift people from poverty through inclusive growth and sustainable development,” H.E.
Obasanjo said.
Dr Kikwete has a commendable track record as a leading contributor to the transformation of Africa’s
food systems. As President of Tanzania, H.E. Kikwete led the implementation of ‘Kilimo Kwanza’
(Swahili for Agriculture First), an initiative that unlocked productivity and profitability for the country’s
smallholder farmers. He also spearheaded the implementation of the Southern Agricultural Growth
Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), a public-private partnership aimed at unlocking more private sector
investment in the country’s agricultural sector.
Upon his retirement, and through the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation, H.E. Kikwete has been
collaborating with farmers and researchers to develop initiatives and strategic interventions to
increase yield and productivity in smallholder farming and agribusiness.
Dr. Kikwete’s appointment coincides with the 2023 call for nominations for the US$100,000 Africa
Food Prize. The Africa Food Prize is the preeminent award recognizing the extraordinary women, men,
and institutions whose contributions to African agriculture are forging a new era of sustainable food
security and economic opportunity that elevates all Africans.
This year, Nestlé partnered with the Africa Food Prize, contributing CHF 100,000 (equivalent to US$
108,400) which will go to the main award, and a special category focusing on innovations that
advance regenerative food systems.
“We are excited to see how this year’s applicants for the Africa Food Prize are making a difference.
Their research and innovation efforts will help drive the transformation of agriculture on the African
continent, and we are proud to support this,” said Remy Ejel, Chief Executive Officer of Zone Asia,
Oceania and Africa, Nestlé S.A.
In 2022, Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, a Ghanaian plant geneticist, won the award for his outstanding
expertise, leadership and grantsmanship skills that led to the establishment and development of West
Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), a world class centre for training plant breeders in Africa
for Africa. Through WACCI, Mr. Danquah’s innovations led to the creation of more than sixty improved
seed varieties, including superior maize hybrid varieties, which continue to boost yield for farmers and
contribute towards food and nutritional security in Ghana.

Organisations, institutions, businesses, and individuals who have created opportunities for Africa’s
farmers to gain viable livelihoods from their trade can submit their nominations at before Monday, 16 May 2023.
Winners will be selected by the Africa Food Prize committee and will be announced at the AGRF,
Africa’s Food Systems Forum 2023 to be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in September.

About the Africa Food Prize
The US$100,000 Africa Food Prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agricultural
agenda. It puts a bright spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated
across the continent to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity for all Africans.
The winners are selected by an independent panel of distinguished experts in African agriculture. The
Africa Food Prize began as the Yara Prize, established by Yara in 2005. It was moved to Africa and
rechristened the Africa Food Prize in 2016. More at

Media queries
For any media interview requests and enquiries, please contact:
Jean Kiarie
Head of Communications, AGRA

Notes to Editors
All media materials related to the opening of the Africa Food Prize nominations can be found
at Follow the conversation on Twitter at @AfriFoodPrize and share content
using #AfricaFoodPrize.

Feb 14, 2023 | Announcement, Press Release

Amath Pathé Sene announced as the new Managing Director for Africa’s food Systems Forum (AGRF)

The Africa’s Food Systems Forum (AGRF) secretariat is pleased to announce the appointment of Amath Pathé Sene the new Managing Director of the Forum.

As Managing Director, Pathé will be responsible for driving AGRF’s strategic growth and running the day-to-day business of its Secretariat as an independent, panAfrican, and multi-partner forum. He will continue to build on the great momentum already underway to take the AGRF a notch higher in its
vision and impact, by advancing and stewarding its multi-year strategy as agreed with the AGRA leadership and the AGRF Partners.

Pathé is an Agricultural Engineer by training and Climate and Environment Expert. He has over 18 years’ experience in the fields of agriculture, green finance & Agri value chains development, environment, climate change and sustainable natural resource management, food systems and nutrition security, rural development, and poverty reduction; rural infrastructure development; safeguards and de-risking public and private sector investments in sustainable agriculture. In his professional career, he has occupied various technical, managerial and leadership roles both at local, country, regional and global level, working across four regions in the World (Africa, South America, Central Asia and Europe).

Prior to joining AGRF, Pathé was the IFAD Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist for West and Central Africa based in Rome and later in Abidjan. He also acted as Director of the IFAD Abidjan sub regional office, and Country Director for Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, and Liberia. Before joining IFAD, Pathe was Policy Specialist on sustainable development with UNDP Global Policy Centre on Sustainable Development based in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). He previously worked with both UNDP and UNEP as Regional Program Advisor based in Nairobi (Kenya), providing technical assistance to African Countries on mainstreaming poverty, environment and gender objectives into national development and investment frameworks. Before that, he served as Program Officer and acting Team Lead with the UNDP Country Office in Mauritania.

Pathé’s other previous positions outside the UN include food security program and sub office manager in Afghanistan, a consultant with European Union in France and Agricultural Researcher at the Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute. He holds an MSc and post-graduate degree in Rural Societies, Territories, Sustainable Development and Natural Resources Management from Institut Agronomique Mediterraneen de Montpellier, France; an MSc on Agricultural Engineering from Ecole Nationale d’Agriculture de Meknes (Morocco) and MSc on Agribusiness, entrepreneurship and Gender from the Centre for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (Israel). Pathé speaks French, English, Portuguese, Wolof and Serer. He is a married and father to three awesome children.

Dec 12, 2022 | Press Release

Tanzania to host the AGRF, Africa’s Food System Forum 2023

Dar es Salaam Tanzania / Washington DC, USA, 12 December 2022 – Tanzania will
host the AGRF 2023 Summit, the announcement was made by Her Excellency Samia
Suluhu Hassan, the president of the United Republic of Tanzania and H.E Hailemariam
Dessalegn, the Chair of the AGRF Partners Group on the sidelines of the U.S. Africa
Leaders’ Summit currently taking place in Washington, DC.
The AGRF, Africa’s Food Systems Forum, is the premier platform for advancing the
agriculture and food systems agenda on the continent; from food security to agri-food
investments. The annual Summit convenes leaders, policymakers, scientists, heads of
governments and private institutions, farmers, and the youth in the agriculture and
food systems landscape to discuss and agree on practical actions and solutions that
drive Africa’s food security and better livelihoods for all.

The 2023 Summit aspires to position Africa as the place for innovation, investments,
and to advance a stronger more diverse, and resilient food system. The Summit will
look to energize and spotlight continental progress beyond the call for aid. The Summit
will showcase Africa’s solutions to Africa’s food systems transformation while
spotlighting leadership, accountability, inclusion and investment opportunities in
Africa in general and in Tanzania in particular.

Tanzania will be the first country to host the AGRF Summit since the forum was
rebranded to Africa’s Food Systems Forum in 2022 as a reflection of the partnerships’
ambition to move forward the transformation of Africa’s food system and sustain
engagement year-round.

In her remarks, Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan welcomed agriculture and food
systems experts, investors and stakeholders from across Africa and beyond to Tanzania
for the Summit and emphasized the importance for Africa to lead on its food security
for national and continental development. She highlighted that Africa’s food security
can collectively be attained if all parties join hands to advance localized solutions that
drive prosperity for all urging the youth to participate in agriculture to enable faster
growth of the continent’s growth.

“I am pleased to announce, that Tanzania has been selected to host the AGRF 2023
Summit. This important Forum will bring together global and local voices, will highlight
investment opportunities and will be looking to do business. We must chart ways to
protect our people from the current drought and climate change impacts and we
must make it possible for investments to move into this important sector.

“I have no doubt, that this Summit will provide actionable solutions for the continent
and our people,” President Samia said.

H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn congratulated and recognized Tanzania’s leadership in
advancing food security and shared his appreciation to President Samia for hosting
the AGRF 2023 Summit.

“The AGRF, Africa’s Food Systems Forum 2023, comes at an integral time when the
continent, battered by the effects of climate change, is coming together to find
solutions that safeguard lives and livelihoods. It is commendable that Tanzania is
developing a national blueprint to drive its economy forward and food and agriculture
will play a huge role in ensuring the country’s prosperity. We urge all stakeholders
ahead of the Summit to kickstart these vital discussions and conversations while
surfacing innovative ideas that can be shared and deployed across the continent.”

The AGRF 2023 builds on the AGRF 2022 hosted by the Government of Rwanda in
Kigali. It was attended by more than 2700 delegates In-Person and over 4000 online.
In 2023, the AGRF secretariat and partners will build on the conversations, agreements,
and critical decisions from the AGRF 2022 Summit through in-country meetings and
roadshows with leaders, farmers, and the youth. The Summit is expected to convene
critical voices in Tanzania with the aim of strengthening Africa’s food systems
transformation through consensus.

Sep 11, 2022 | Press Release

The AGRF 2022 Summit marks a turning point for African agriculture and food systems.

The summit captured the commitments and actions that will guarantee and advance the future of Africa’s food security and prosperity

KIGALI, Rwanda, September 9, 2022:  The AGRF 2022 Summit has closed today with optimism and a strong ask to leaders to act decisively and swiftly to implement the ambitions and practical actions discussed during the summit.

The Summit which brought together over 2400 delegates in Kigali and over 4000 delegates virtually, highlighted the importance of collaboration in fast-tracking progress and emphasized the need for cooperation and capacity building as a response to the various shocks currently affecting the continent’s food systems.

Current and former Heads of State and Government leaders declared their commitment to supporting and driving efforts to build food security and transform food systems, and build a sustainable, profitable, and productive agricultural ecosystem in Africa. They voiced their determination to direct more resources to agriculture and committed to building stronger partnerships within and outside Africa, including with the Commonwealth member states.

Speaking during the closing ceremony, Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources Rwanda stressed the need to translate the discussions into action.

“Throughout this AGRF 2022 Summit, it has been emphasized that we cannot just continue talking and not implementing. From here, we should have fewer words and more action. It is now time for Africa to find solutions for its problems and we must take matters into our own hands to develop resilient food systems that can withstand external shocks.” She said.

Speakers throughout the week hailed the current and ongoing efforts by African nations toward building sustainability. However, they stressed the need to boost Africa’s food production; to reduce the overreliance on imports, and to lessen public expenditure. They noted that Africa’s agriculture sector hosts numerous opportunities, citing the need for immediate action and coordinated efforts as key in enabling the continent to produce enough to nourish her population and her economies.

In his closing remarks, H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn said that the AGRF 2022 summit was aimed at fostering bold actions.

“I am delighted to confirm that we have made the first steps on this journey. I would like to reiterate that we cannot do it alone. The summit has emphasized the role our partners play in this transformation journey. We must walk the talk together” he said.

The summit emphasized the indispensable role of the private sector. Stakeholders stressed that innovation in finance must be led and supported by governments and driven by entrepreneurs to reality.

The full summit declaration can be accessed here


Sep 8, 2022 | Press Release

Generation Africa awards US$100,000 to two young agripreneurs from Kenya and Uganda in the fourth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition at the African Green Revolution Forum Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

Kigali, Rwanda – After impressive on-stage pitches to an expert panel of judges earlier this week, Esther Kimani founder of FarmerLifeLine Technologies in Kenya and Mark Musinguzi founder of Hya Bioplastics in Uganda each received a US$50,000 grand prize at the African Green Revolution Forum’s (AGRF) at its Gala Dinner and Africa Food Prize Awards Ceremony attended by H.E. President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame and a host of other African heads of state, dignitaries, and esteemed food systems experts from across the world.

With 12 top-class finalists in this year’s GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition, four additional Impact Awards winners were merited and will receive US$2,500: Eloge Niyomwungere, founder of Best Food Solution in Burundi, Nancy Iraba co-founder of Healthy Seaweed Company in Tanzania, Noël N’guessan co-founder of LONO in Côte d’Ivoire, and Seynabou Dieng, co-founder of Maya Sarl in Senegal.

“These young entrepreneurs are the in the midst of a food revolution. Their ventures are making a positive impact on their communities, their environment, and the local economy,” remarked Ms. Fernanda Lopes, Executive Vice President for Asia & Africa, Yara International, who awarded the winners on behalf of the Generation Africa co-founders.

Emerging victorious among the women agripreneurs, Esther Kimani and her company FarmerLifeLine Technologies invented a device that helps Kenyan farmers to get ahead of pests and pathogens with a proprietary disease detection device that leverages solar-powered cameras, Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, and machine learning.

Among the men, grand prize winner Mark Musinguzi of Hya Bioplastics wants to lead Africa in sustainable food packaging with an innovative biodegradable product solution that provides a cost competitive alternative to petroleum-based plastic packaging.

Generation Africa co-founder Svein Tore Holsether, CEO and President of Yara International, delivered keynote remarks at the final pitching contest to thank the finalists for their visionary work, remarking: “Once again, I am so impressed with the finalists. They are all truly inspiring and I see them as leaders and role models in a world that so desperately needs that kind of drive and dedication to solve the staggering global challenges we are faced with.”

AGRF Chair Emeritus Strive Masiyiwa, Generation Africa co-founder and Executive Chairman of Econet and Cassava Technologies, joined Holsether via video message to motivate the contestants to use their entrepreneurial spirit for positive impact: “From amongst you, are the very people who are going to save our continent and ensure that millions of people do not starve, ensure that millions of other people will be able to overcome the challenges created by climate change. […] The true winners are not going to be because you got a prize, but because you were inspired and encouraged to go on to do greater things with your entrepreneurial venture, and that you reached out where the need was greatest, and the help was least,” Masiyiwa said in a heartfelt appeal.

Embodying the spirit of Masiyiwa’s message, Generation Africa also recognized four Impact Award Winners for each venture’s potential to empower communities and protect the environment.

For Senegalese Seynabou Dieng, the company she co-founded, Maya, is much more than a food processing company. By partnering with small-scale local farmers in Mali, this 80% women-staffed company gets the best local ingredients to manufacture their proudly African sauces, spices, mixes, and dried fruits.

Nancy Iraba founded Healthy Seaweed Company to boost the livelihoods for women seaweed farmers in Zanzibar and to bring the health benefits of seaweed home through local value-addition and the promotion of seaweed as a sustainable and highly nutritious food source.

Noël N’guessan of LONO co-founded his business to focus on healthy soil. One of its products, KubeKo, helps farmers in Côte d’Ivoire to unlock value from their waste. This easy-to-use biogas composting system generates 2hrs of cooking gas and 50l of liquid fertilizer from 5kg of organic waste per day.

Eloge Niyomwungere and his business Best Food Solution processes chillies into oil, powder, and dried chillies for local and export markets. He founded his company to revitalise Burundi’s chilli industry by supporting smallholder farmers with quality inputs and guaranteed offset. They even manufacture an organic chilli-based pesticide to protect yields.

Marking the first in-person GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition since 2019, the twelve finalists were elated for the post-pandemic opportunity to build relationships with a global complement of delegates attending the 2022 AGRF summit. They enjoyed facilitated participation at the AGRF Agribusiness Deal Room where they could build face-to-face trust with future partners, investors, and clients. Corteva Agriscience, one of Generation Africa’s co-founders, sponsored the finalists in their travels to the live event.

“By bringing them to Africa’s biggest agriculture summit we hope to catalyse relationships between these youth agripreneurs and global leaders in the industry. The GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize, and the networks and connections that come with it, is designed to empower the youth generation to scale their impact-driven agrifood businesses in the fight for a sustainable, African food system. It is wonderful to see this powerful platform back in action,” said Barbra Muzata, Head of Corporate Communications and Brand at Corteva Agriscience.

The fourth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize reached nearly six million people during the entry window from 19 April to 6 June 2022. Applications streamed in from 45 African countries with 10 countries represented amongst the Top 12 finalists.

“GoGettaz has grown into the biggest, youth-focussed, agripreneurship competition in Africa. Our entries are becoming more diverse every year,” said Dickson Naftali, Head of Generation Africa. “The GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize was conceived to spread a message of hope and opportunity in the agrifood sector. Seeing more youth with truly innovate solutions, building companies that create jobs in the food system, makes me really proud. They hold the future of our continent in their hands.”

The 2022 Gogettaz Agripreneur Prize Judging Panel

George Apaka, Agriculture Sector Lead at the Mastercard Foundation

Barbra Muzata, Head of Corporate Communications and Brand at Corteva Agriscience, Africa and the Middle East

Edson Mpyisi, Chief Financial Economist and Coordinator of the ENABLE Youth Programme at the African Development Bank.

Ellen Cathrine Rasmussen, Executive Vice President of Scalable Enterprises at Norfund

Zvichapera Katiyo, Group CEO of Delta Philanthropies

Jane Lowicki-Zucca, Senior Youth Advisor at USAID

Temi Adegoroye, Managing partner at Sahel Consulting

Jean Muthamia-Mwenda, Global Lead for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship at SNV Netherlands

Generation Africa Co-Founders:

African Development Bank Group: 

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa:



Corteva Agriscience:


Heifer International: 

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation:

Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions:

Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture:

U.S. Agency for International Development:

Yara International:

Full List of the 2022 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Top 12


Lawrencia Kwansah, Dent Agrisystems, Ghana:

Dent Agrisystems empowers poor urban households in Ghana with its environmentally sustainable Aquaponics Hub. Its innovative solar-powered, IoT-integrated system makes it easy for anyone to farm fish and grow hydroponic vegetables.

Esther Kimani, FarmerLifeLine Technologies, Kenya:

FarmerLifeLine invented a device that helps Kenyan farmers get ahead of pests and pathogens with a proprietary disease detection device that leverages solar-powered cameras, Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, and machine learning.

Nancy Iraba, Healthy Seaweed Company, Tanzania:

Healthy Seaweed Company is boosting the livelihoods for women seaweed farmers in Zanzibar and bringing the health benefits of seaweed home through local value-addition and the promotion of seaweed products as a sustainable food source.

Seynabou Dieng, Maya Sarl, Senegal:

Maya is much more than a food processing company. By partnering with small-scale local farmers in Mali, this 80% women-staffed company gets the best local ingredients to manufacture proudly African sauces, spices, mixes, and dried fruits.

Yvette Dickson-Tetteh, Pure and Just Food, Ghana:

Pure and Just Food is all about climate-smart agro-processing that creates sustainable jobs, raises incomes, and protects the environment. They process and package dried fruit for Ghanaian and international markets.

Marie Ange Mukagahima, Zima Healthy, Rwanda: 

Zima Healthy processes the pulp and seeds of organic pumpkins into healthy snacks, food ingredients, cooking oil and cosmetics. They employ youth and source their pumpkins from women and youth farmers in Rwanda.


Julio Chilela, Agro Marketplace Kepya, Angola:

Kepya is an agribusiness innovation hub with a network of rural shops and an online e-commerce platform. Kepya is improving rural livelihoods by bringing agricultural services and products to smallholder farmers across Angola.

Eloge Niyomwungere, Best Food Solution, Burundi:

Best Food Solution processes chillies into oil, powder, and dried chillies for local and export markets. They are revitalising Burundi’s chilli industry by supporting smallholder farmers with quality inputs and guaranteed offset.

Denish Ogwang, Fidena Agri Limited, Uganda:   

Fidena Agri converts banana peels and eggshells into Eggo Farm, a low-cost organic fertilizer that gives crops the nutrients they need to boost yields by up to 45%. Its helping Uganda’s smallholder farmers to increase their profits.

Mark Musinguzi, Hya Bioplastics, Uganda: 

Hya Bioplastics wants to lead Africa in sustainable, biodegradable food packaging. Its innovative business upcycles wasted agricultural fibres and casava starch into cost-competitive containers and fruit trays to replace plastic food packaging in Uganda.

Noël N’guessan, LONO, Côte d’Ivoire:

LONO designed an innovative system that helps farmers in Côte d’Ivoire to unlock value from organic waste with KubeKo. This easy-to-use biogas composting system generates 2hrs of cooking gas and 50l of liquid fertilizer from 5kg of organic waste per day.

Idoko Nnaedozie, Solaristique, Nigeria:

Solaristique is a recycling company that is tackling Nigeria’s food waste problem with an innovative solution that repurposes old freezers into a range of low-cost, hyper-efficient, solar-powered cold storage units for off-grid use.

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Jane Machigere