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: https://www.afdb.org/ 

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa: https://agra.org/

The AGRF:  https://agrf.org/

Bayer:  https://www.bayer.com/en/agriculture

Corteva Agriscience: https://www.corteva.com/

Econet: https://www.econetafrica.com/

Heifer International:  https://www.heifer.org/ 

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation: https://www.norad.no/

Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions: http://www.sacau.org/

Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture: https://www.syngentafoundation.org/

U.S. Agency for International Development: https://www.usaid.gov/

Yara International: https://www.yara.com/

Full List of the 2022 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Top 12

Women

Lawrencia Kwansah, Dent Agrisystems, Ghana:

http://dentagrisystems.com

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:

http://farmerlifeline.co.ke

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:

https://healthyseaweedcafe.co.tz

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:

www.maya-mali.com

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:

www.yvayafarm.com

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:

http://zimahealthy.com 

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.

Men

Julio Chilela, Agro Marketplace Kepya, Angola:

http://kepya.co.ao

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:

http://bfsolution.biz/

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:

http://fidenaagri.com   

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:

www.hyabioplastics.com 

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:

www.lonoci.com

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:

http://solaristique.com.ng

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.

Media Contact

Jane Machigere

jane@jsmcommunications.com

| Press Release

African leaders urged to explore local solutions and prioritise investments in Agriculture to alleviate food insecurity

Kigali, Rwanda, September 07, 2022: African leaders have pledged to identify, define and develop local solutions to challenges facing local agricultural production to build effective and sustainable food systems for the people of Africa, and deliver zero hunger by 2030.

The leaders, who included sitting and former Heads of State and Governments, as well as heads of private sector and multilateral organisations were hosted by Rwanda’s President, H.E Paul Kagame and H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn, the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Chair of AGRA and the AGRF Partners Group during the Presidential Summit at the ongoing AGRF 2022 Summit.

President Kagame, who chaired the session, urged African nations to implement bold actions to shore up food security, especially at this time of multiple global crises. He called for joint efforts by African leaders and other stakeholders to enhance resilience in the continent’s agricultural sector, to enable the continent to sustainably feed itself and future generations.

“When we met one year ago, ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit, our continent put forward a strong common African position which needs to be built upon in order to effectively deliver results on the ground. Ultimately, it is about ensuring Africa is more resilient in the face of unexpected global shocks. But we are off track in achieving our agreed targets under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and the Malabo Declaration as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. The Covid-19 pandemic, ongoing conflicts and the global supply chain and energy crisis are all placing an unusual strain on our food systems.” President Kagame said, highlighting the issues facing the continent’s food systems. He  urged African leaders to walk the talk and provide for its citizenry.

H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn, hailed the commitment of leaders present at the summit and the collective will and ambition to advance African food systems.

“The presence of more than five Heads of State and Government  at this year’s AGRF Summit depicts unprecedented commitment of our leaders to alleviate all forms of hunger, poverty and malnutrition. Africa’s prosperity depends on translating commitments we have made into implementation. The continent’s plight requires collective will, voice and action to radically transform our agriculture sector and turn our fortunes towards sustainable, self-sufficient economic growth. There is a need to boldly galvanize collective will amongst leaders to emphatically support agricultural transformation.” He said.

The session was also attended by Presidents H.E. Emmerson Mnangagwa  of Zimbabwe, H.E. Mohamed Bazoum of Niger,  H.E. Vice President Philip Mpango of Tanzania and UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed. The session was also attended   H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo former president of the Federal republic of Nigeria) and H. E Lionel Zinsou, the former Prime Minister of Benin.

President Kagame also noted the need  for increased investments  and citing this this as one of the ways  to insulate countries from food shortage.

“Following the 2008 food price crisis, Rwanda invested heavily in post-harvest management, and this paid off during the pandemic. Africa should not be struggling with food insecurity given our natural endowments. Africa can feed itself and even feed others. This is an opportunity to work together, learn from each other and advance on ground solutions tailored to our specific contexts.”

President Kagame also challenged the continent, ahead of COP 27 in Egypt, to advocate for stronger commitments to reduce emissions and drive action on adaptation and resilience particularly in developing countries.

Ends

About 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.   For more Information: https://agrf.org/ or contact agrf-media@hudsonsandler.com

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

Sep 7, 2022 | Press Release

THE AGRF UNVEILS NEW BRAND TO SUPPORT ITS REFINED VISION AT ITS 12th ANNUAL SUMMIT

KIGALI, September 6, 2022 – The AGRF, Africa’s premier forum for driving the food and agriculture agenda on the continent, today unveiled a new brand identity to usher it into the next phase of its journey.

The AGRF is seeking to refresh its brand as a platform of platforms that elevates current and future partnerships in Africa’s agri-food sector.

At the heart of the rebrand is a desire to evolve from an annual event for the visual identity to reflect the move beyond conversations and engagements around its annual summit to engagements all year round. Over a decade after the inaugural summit brought together Presidents, Ministers, business leaders, development partners, thought leaders, farmers, and other key stakeholders, The AGRF now seeks to build on the conversations and critical decisions about food systems and security that emerge from the forum to deliver the sustained year-round stakeholder engagement required to drive the actions and policies need to achieve our food security goals for the continent.

Commenting on the rebrand, Dr Agnes Kailbata, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) said:

“We are rebranding the AGRF’s to align with but also reflect our partnership ambition to move forward the transformation of our food system.  We have less than 8 years to achieve the sustainable development goals we have set on food security and zero hunger. AGRF rebrand is a call to action for public and private sector to mobilise the resources, actions, and commitment required to impact the 2030 age and, transform our food systems and enable Africa to feed itself.”

Jennifer Baarn, Acting Managing Director, the AGRF said, “This major milestone and our new brand identity is rooted in our commitment to the continent. The rich colours of our new logo represent the vibrancy and optimism of the African continent and the collective will to act on the bold actions that will transform African food systems. Our rallying call, this is our time – is very apt.

As a popular proverb says: ‘The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the next best time is today.’ We must ensure that we are planting the seeds and taking the decisive action required today to safeguard our future.

Partnerships are central to our ethos, and we look forward to working with existing and new partners to challenge our thinking and to keep iterating in our quest to support the continent to become more food secure. The AGRF will focus on engaging all voices across food systems to accelerate the solutions that are required to transform Africa’s agricultural sector.”

The new branding will take effect immediately across the AGRF website, social media, and other assets.

| Press Release

AGRA announces 2022 WAYA awards winners

Women agripreneurs from the Gambia, Rwanda, Benin and Nigeria receive US85,000 in grants at the annual Women Agripreneur of the Year Awards 2022

Kigali: September 7, 2022 – AGRA, the African alliance for inclusive agricultural transformation, today announced the winners of the 2022 Women Agripreneur of the Year Award 2022 (WAYA) at the AGRF summit held in Kigali, Rwanda.

A total of US85,000 in grant funding was awarded to the four winners announced during a live ceremony, in the categories: Young Female Agripreneur, Female Ag Tech Innovator, Outstanding Value Adding Enterprise, and Overall Grand Prize.

An important part of AGRA’s VALUE4Her program, WAYA recognizes women agripreneurs from across the continent who have excelled in different segments of the agricultural value chain and shown remarkable innovation in their businesses. Launched in 2018, the awards aim to promote female success stories and role models, trigger innovation and spur ambition among women agripreneurs.

This year, the competition has grown, welcoming applications from a total of 1,478 women from 38 countries across Africa. A shortlist of 15 finalists from seven countries was drawn up following several rounds of rigorous evaluation which appraised the candidates’ vision, innovations, business impact on the community and their growth potential.

The awards were judged by an esteemed panel comprising: Irene Ochem, Irene, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF); Marieme Esther Dassanou, Manager of the African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa programme (AFAWA); Betty Kiplagat, the Lead of Government and Industry Affairs, Africa and Middle East at Corteva; Everlyn Musyoka, Smallholder Strategy Lead for Africa at Bayer Crop Science, Robynne Anderson, President and CEO of Emerging ag inc; and, Binta Toure Ndoye, Independent Non-Executive Board Director within the Attijariwafa Group in Senegal.

Dr. Agnes Kalibata, president of AGRA said, ‘I would like to congratulate our 2022 WAYA winners. Each is a remarkable role model to the thousands of women across Africa working to make their mark on African agriculture, and embodies the ambitions of VALUE4Her. Although women comprise around 40% of Africa’s rural workforce and contribute up to 70% of food production, their efforts are still significantly under-recognised when it comes to business opportunities and investment. The unique stories of our four winners will help us to inspire and enhance advocacy for female agripreneurs across Africa, to build an environment that supports women to catalyse the needed transformation of Africa’s food systems.”  

The winners of the Women Agripreneurs of The Year Awards 2022 are:

Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star) – Fatou Manneh – Founder, Jelmah Herbella (The Gambia)

The award recognizes high potential young females (below 35 years) demonstrating innovation and leadership in agribusiness. See more information about why Fatou Manneh won the award: https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Value4HER_YFA_Fatou-Manneh.pdf

Female Ag Tech Innovator – Uwintwari Liliane – CEO, Mahwi Tech (Rwanda)

The award recognizes female agripreneurs championing technological advancement in agribusiness. See more information about why Uwintwari Liliane won the award:  https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Value4HER_FAT_Uwintwali-Lilian.pdf

Outstanding Value Adding Enterprise – Célia Chabi – CEO, KIEL BIEN-ÊTRE (Benin)

The award recognizes female-owned agribusinesses that are increasing the economic value and/or consumer appeal to agricultural products. See more information about why Célia Chabi won the award: https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Value4HER_OVE_Clia-Chabi.pdf

Overall Grand Award – Oluyemisi Iranloye – Managing Director, Psaltry International (Nigeria)

See more information about why Oluyemisi Iranloye won the award: https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Value4HER_FAT_Oluyemisi-Iranloye.pdf

(www.value4her.hivebrite.com/page/waya-awards)

About WAYA

The VALUE4HER Women Agripreneur of the Year Awards (WAYA) recognises women agripreneurs who have excelled in different segments of the agricultural value chain and shown remarkable innovation in their businesses. Launched in 2018, this award aims to create visibility for successful women, trigger innovation and spur ambition among women agripreneurs and promote successful women entrepreneurs as positive role models. The Award goes to women who have achieved significant recognition and business success in the field of agriculture and agribusiness with great impact on food security in their communities or countries. 

About VALUE4HER

VALUE4HER is AGRA’s continental initiative aimed at strengthening women’s agribusiness enterprises and enhancing voice and advocacy across Africa. The initiative aims to increase the performance of women entrepreneurs through access to markets and trade, access to finance and investments , through tailored online and offline match making activities, learning, networking, and global advocacy aimed at addressing some of the key barriers for women’s business growth and market participation in agriculture.

About AGRA

AGRA is a farmer-centered, Africa-led and partnerships-driven institution that is transforming Africa’s smallholer farming from a solitary struggle to survive to businesses that thrive. The goal is to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million smallholder farm households in 11 African countries by 2021.

More information:

Mejury Shiri, mshiri@agra.org Rebecca Weaver, rwearver@agra.org

For the AGRF online press room: ewangui@hudsonsandler.com

| Press Release

Africa Food Prize Winner 2022 Announced

Kigali: September 7, 2022 – Eric Yirenkyi Danquah was today announced the winner of the 2022 Africa Food Prize at the AGRF2022 Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Africa Food Prize is the preeminent annual award that recognizes outstanding individuals or institutions that are leading the effort to change the reality of farming in Africa.

Eric Yirenkyi Danquah has been celebrated for his outstanding expertise, leadership and grantsmanship skills that led to the establishment and development of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) as a world class centre for training plant breeders in Africa for Africa. Danquah is a Ghanaian plant geneticist, professor, founding director of the WACCI and former director of the Biotechnology Centre at the University of Ghana.

Danquah founded the WACCI in 2007 at the University of Ghana, with the “aim of training a new generation of plant breeders to develop improved varieties of staple crops in West and Central Africa”. Through his leadership, WACCI attracted more than $30M US dollars of research and develpment funding and trained more than 120 PhD and 49 MPhil students in Seed Science and Technology from 19 African countries. This led to more than 60 improved seed varieties, including superior maize hybrid varieties, which will help boost yield for farmers and contribute towards food and nutrition security.

Today, the institution boasts of a new molecular biology/tissue culture laboratory, a bioinformatics platform, and cutting-edge university farms including a US$300,000 ultra-modern screen house for controlled experiments.

This year’s winner selection is a reflection of the importance of promoting science and technology as tools to develop solutions for sustainable food systems.

The winner was chosen by a preeminent judging panel of leaders in African agriculture, comprising Africa Food Prize Committee President H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo (outgoing Chair), Dr. Vera Songwe, Dr. Eleni Z. Gabre- Madhin,  Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg, Mr. Birama Sidibé and Prof. Sheryl Hendriks, Dr Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli.

H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo said:

“It is a great privilege to be able to honour and shine a spotlight on the truly remarkable achievements of Dr. Danquah. His leadership in genetic innovation inspires the future of food security and nutrition in Africa has made a tangible difference to how a new generation is working to improve African food systems. He has been, and continues to be, a true inspiration for many young minds. On behalf of the African Food Prize Committee, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations and appreciation for his continuing endeavors.”  

The Africa Food Prize 2022 was sponsored by Corteva, Kenya Commercial Bank, UPL and AGRA.

About The Africa Food Prize

The Africa Food Prize is the preeminent award recognizing an outstanding individual or institution that is leading the effort to change the reality of farming in Africa—from a struggle to survive to a business that thrives.

The US $100,000 prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agriculture agenda. It puts a 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 Prize Committee considers the following criteria for the Prize:

  • Contribution to reducing poverty and hunger and/or improving food and nutrition security in measurable terms
  • Contribution to providing a vital source of income and/or employment in measurable terms
  • Potential for transformative change through scalability, replication, and sustainability
  • Increased awareness and cooperation among African audiences and organizations

for details and any inquires, please contact:

Boaz Blackie Keizire

Head of the Africa Food Prize Secretariat

+254733733445

BKeizire@agra.org 

To register for virtual attendance at the AGRF 2022 Summit visit: https://summit2022.agrf.org/en/registration

For enquiries to AGRF virtual press room: ewangui@hudsonsandler.com

Sep 6, 2022 | Press Release

The AGRF 2022 Summit kicks off in Kigali with a strong call for Bold Action for Africa’s food systems

The Summit will identify and define how African countries can translate commitments
into actionable strategies towards food security for all Africans.

Kigali September 6, 2022 – The 2022 AGRF Summit kicked off today in Kigali Rwanda, with a call for bold actions to accelerate efforts to end hunger across the continent especially in times of crises. Speaking during the official opening, Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda, Right Honourable Dr. Edouard Ngirente noted that the summit is an opportunity for the continent to build action and accelerate comprehensive transformation of food systems across Africa, “This summit has gathered the continent to shine the spotlight on how we can advance food systems transformation to ensure that it is inclusive, sustainable and resilient for the food security of all. It is time to build action for production and supply of food for households to meet their food needs,”.


The summit brings together over 2500 delegates including African presidents, agriculture ministers, private sector, development partners, civil society, and experts to Kigali, Rwanda. Hosted by the Government of Rwanda and the AGRF Partner’s Group, the Summit runs until Friday, 9th September under the theme ‘Grow. Nourish. Reward. Bold Actions for Resilient Food Systems’. Discussions will center around how Africa can successfully navigate the crises currently affecting the global food supply chain and ensure that African Governments can mobilize investment and accelerate commitments to deliver a food secure continent.

The summit intends to address bottlenecks hindering development of strong food systems while highlighting approaches and initiatives that have worked across different markets.

Rwanda’s president, H.E Paul Kagame will lead a presidential summit comprising of sitting and former African Heads of State to review the gains made in Africa’s agricultural landscape.


AGRA’s Board Chair, and Chair of the AGRF Partners Group and former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn noted that the summit comes as the continent grapples with challenges in global food supply and effects of the pandemic that have undone gains in efforts to end hunger and build food security.

“Food systems transformation is key to economic transformation. We need to take bold actions urgently, this calls for new, stronger, innovative and strategic leadership to ensure that food systems are more resilient,” H.E. Dessalegn added.

This year’s Summit will also include discussions around building strong foundations required to avert crises such as those currently witnessed with the rising cost of living for African people. These discussions will lay out visions of success as well as what is at stake for the people at this time of crisis, while emphasising the type of leadership and action needed to move forward with more resilient food systems.


AGRF partners and key stakeholders will also highlight initiatives and commitments to transform food systems and accelerate Africa’s delivery of the 2030 targets.


Some of the key highlights in this year’s AGRF 2022 Summit will include the Agribusiness Deal Room, a platform for connecting innovators with critically needed capital, the Presidential Summit, Farmers Forum, and a Youth Townhall.

Mar 3, 2022 | Press Release

AGRF 2022 Summit to be held in Rwanda

With urgency growing to deliver on zero hunger, the summit will focus on innovative ways bold actions and commitments towards the continental food security agenda

Kigali, Rwanda, March 3, 2022— The AGRF, Africa’s premier forum for food and agriculture, has launched its 12th annual summit under the theme ‘Grow, Nourish and Reward – Bold Actions for Resilient Food systems’ to be held in Kigali Rwanda from September 5 to 9, 2022.

This year’s summit will call for accelerated action by leaders, innovators, businesses, private institutions, civil society, and development agencies to put forward bold actions and unite efforts towards the continental food security agenda

Recognizing the urgency to deliver on the Malabo commitments and the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the AGRF 2022 summit will spotlight the ongoing efforts and country-led actions that can be scaled up towards food systems that deliver for the people, planet, and prosperity.

Speaking during the launch event, the Right Honourable Dr. Edouard Ngirente, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda reiterated Rwanda’s confidence in the AGRF 2022 to come up with a sustainable solution to the food system issue on the African continent.

“Rwanda is confident that the AGRF 2022 Summit will come up with concrete actions that can build sustainable and resilient food systems to feed nearly 256 million reportedly suffering from severe food insecurity on the African continent. Commodities such as beef, grain wheat, sugar, rice and soybeans that Africa has been importing, can be better produced on the continent if we implement the right
policies.”

The Prime Minister of Rwanda welcomed delegates from across the continent and beyond to participate and contribute to the AGRF 2022 Summit.

H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the AGRF Chair said that while African leaders have shown commitment to support food systems transformation, collective action will be needed to accelerate progress and real change.

“No country is healthy unless food and livelihoods are healthy. Delivering for the planet, people, and prosperity will require collective efforts from all sectors. However, African governments should lead these efforts by prioritising and integrating policies that address multiple objectives including those that call for healthy and nutritious diets, decent income for the farmers and policies that address climate and other
environmental fragilities.”

He added that as Africa builds back from the effects of the pandemic, leaders should ensure the pace lost in agriculture and food systems transformation is picked up to ensure the wholesome growth of people across the continent.

The AGRF 2022 Summit will be hosted by the Government of Rwanda and the AGRF Partner’s Group, the Summit comes at a pivotal time, a crossroads in Africa’s recovery and progress towards the deadline for zero hunger by 2030.

Some of the key highlights at this year’s AGRF 2022 Summit will include the Agribusiness Deal Room, a platform for connecting innovators with critically needed capital, the Presidential Summit, Farmers Forum, and a Youth Townhall.


For Media inquiries, contact:
Eugene Kwibuka, ekwibuka@minagri.gov.rw
/ +250 788490241
AGRF Hudson Sandler, agrf@hudsonsandler.com/ Tel +254 703 516 173/ +250
788384065

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. 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.

Sep 15, 2021 | Press Release

Agriculture stakeholders commit to holistic, inclusive approach to transforming African food systems

Delegates attending AGRF 2021 Summit from across the agriculture ecosystem on the continent rally support

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 14, 2021: Leaders from across Africa renewed their commitment to adopt a more holistic and inclusive approach to food systems in Africa to better tackle hunger and poverty and improve nutrition while conserving natural resources.

The declaration was made at the conclusion of the 2021 AGRF Summit, which convened more than 8,000 delegates from 103 countries, including six African Heads of State, 20 ministers, global business leaders, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups, scientists, and international development partners.

Delegates called for a change in the way food is produced, processed, marketed and consumed in Africa and for reduction of food waste. Solutions they advised/proposed included boosting smallholder farmer productivity, investment in agribusinesses alongside access for all to safe and nutritious food.

“We know that a failure to change will make it impossible to achieve the key sustainable development goal of ending hunger by 2030.  Hunger and poverty in Africa can only end with resilient food systems,” the delegates stated in a declaration.

Speaking during the closing ceremony, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Board Chair of AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa), H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn said: “This is a turning point in Africa’s agriculture. We should do things differently by taking a more integrated approach to food systems. It begins with agriculture but goes right through the business of food until it ends on our plate and in our trash.  In recognising importance of food systems and how they can drive economic growth, we must take a holistic sustainable agricultural transformation, thinking the whole way from production to consumption.”

H.E. Dessalegn added: “The task of transforming our food systems is for all of us. If we all do our bit, we will make it”.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Peter Munya said: “The summit has helped us to recommit to the goals we set for ourselves as a continent, and individual countries, to end hunger by 2030. It is possible to deliver this because we have the resources, experience and knowledge and are mobilising the will. We need to support the young people of Africa to get involved in agriculture because there is no future without them.”

Coming ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit, the AGRF 2021 Summit provided an opportunity to elevate Africa’s common position, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. This included enhancing the resilience of Africa’s food system from external shocks, its fragility having been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Agnes Kalibata, AGRA’s President said: “The wide representation and participation at the summit has helped clarify Africa’s position on food systems transformation.  The summit showed that we know how to reduce hunger and malnutrition and tackle obesity, but we can only do this by working  together. We need to double down and come together to fix our broken food systems and meet the [SDG} goal of zero hunger by 2030.  It is only by working together that we can help deliver food security and prosperity for people and our planet!”

The AGRF 2021 Summit, whose theme was ‘Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems’, had over 700 speakers. The summit featured commitments on renewable energy, youth and women empowerment, and establishment of value chains.

It also led to the building of the emerging coalition of action for Decent Work and Living Incomes and the 43 game changing solutions, representing a coordinated African voice, that are being taken to the UNFSS.

The summit gathered consensus on the role of youth and women, as well as innovative technology to revitalise agricultural productivity and support farmers to build back better from effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, to feed the growing population.

During the summit, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) was named 2021 Africa Food Prize laureate, for its work in improving food security across 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The Africa Agriculture Status Report 2021 was also launched, indicating that sub-Saharan Africa has had the fastest growth in agricultural production since 2000.

Jennifer Baarn, Acting Managing Director at the AGRF reaffirmed the forum’s commitment to advancing the actions towards 2030 to help identify pathways towards sustainable food systems in the continent. “We will be taking all the threads of prosperity, people and planet that have run through this summit and thinking about how that shapes our future work,” she said.


About 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.   For more Information: https://agrf.org/ or contact agrf-media@hudsonsandler.com

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

Sep 8, 2021 | Press Release

ICRISAT awarded 2021 Africa Food Prize

Recognized for helping 25 million farmers in 13 countries to improve income and food production

Nairobi, Kenya, September 8, 2021 – The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has been awarded the 2021 Africa Food Prize, for work that has improved food security across 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

ICRISAT, a CGIAR Research Center, is a non-profit, non-political public international research organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world.

Between 2007 and 2019, ICRISAT led a collaboration of partners to deliver the Tropical Legumes Project. The project, undertaken together with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), developed 266 improved legume varieties and almost half a million tons of seed for a range of legume crops, including cowpeas, pigeon peas, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, and soybean. These new varieties have helped over 25 million smallholder farmers become more resilient to climate change, as well as pest and disease outbreaks.

In addition to these new varieties, the project trained 52 scientists, who are already working in national research institutes across the continent. Training these next generation scientists in the countries where the projects were implemented, has helped strengthen the research capacity of national agricultural research systems in Africa and contributed to sustaining the gains the projects have made.

Congratulating the winner, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, the Chair of the Africa Food Prize Committee and former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, said: “ICRISAT’s leadership in developing seeds that not only end malnutrition but also survive in semi-arid areas is inspiring other agricultural organisations to rethink seed development and farming practices that suit and solve Africa’s agricultural challenges.”

“Their work is also important as it provides an inclusive approach that supports the whole agricultural value chain, from farm to fork, providing farmers with farming tools and a market for their produce,’’ he said.

Accepting the award, Dr. Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes, ICRISAT Director General, said the Institute’s work spanned the entire value chain, from high-end genomics to markets and agri-business in dryland cropping systems.

“We also empower women and attract youth back to agriculture using the latest tools and technologies available to make farming profitable.

“The Africa Food Prize is a major accolade and recognition of ICRISAT’s work in Africa and reinforces our belief that agriculture can be profitable for smallholder farmers. It is also testament to the work of our close collaborators, the national agriculture research and extension systems, without whose support this would not have been possible.

“We dedicate this award to the smallholder farmers in the drylands of Africa, as they are the ones who inspire us with their patience and perseverance in the face of adversity,” said Dr. Hughes.

Dryland ecosystems cover 45 per cent of Africa’s landmass and feed and support almost half a billion people. However, these systems are fragile and prone to the effects of climate change and environmental degradation.

Programs like the Tropical Legumes projects help the millions of smallholder farmers relying on drylands ecosystems to grow more food and become more resilient in the face of climate change. The project has been implemented in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

The Africa Food Prize recognizes outstanding African individuals and institutions leading efforts in the following areas: transformation of Africa’s foods systems; promotion of sustainable agricultural practices; support for smallholder farmers to raise incomes; resilience in the wake of climate change impacts; and access to high quality agricultural inputs, knowledge, and equipment. The award, that includes a $100,000 prize, celebrates those changing the reality of farming in Africa from a struggle practice to a business that lifts communities out of poverty.

Key impacts of the Tropical Legume Project

  • Groundnut crop interventions demonstrated 32.35% increase in income, 6.72% households lifted out of poverty and 14% out of food insecurity.
  • Ten groundnut varieties, including six high-yielding, drought-tolerant ones and four ELS, released in Mali.
  • Seven groundnut varieties, with traits such as aflatoxin tolerance, early maturing, drought tolerance etc. released.
  • In India, chickpea national program on developing improved varieties resulted in area enhancement up to 68%.
  • Chickpea program in Ethiopia won a national award in 2013 for science and innovation.
  • Seven-fold increase in number of improved common bean variety releases from 2011 to 2018.

Africa Food Prize – Previous winners

2020

Last year Dr. André Bationo and Dr. Catherine Nakalembe won the Africa Food Prize for their exceptional contribution towards the promotion of food security across the continent.

2019

In 2019, Dr. Emma Naluyima, a smallholder farmer and private veterinarian from Uganda, and Baba Dioum, a policy champion and agricultural entrepreneur from Senegal were recognized for their remarkable achievements in demonstrating and promoting innovative and sustainable growth in Africa’s agriculture through improved resource use and market links.

2018

The 2018 AFP award went to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for its leadership in generating agricultural research and technologies that have improved food security, nutrition, and incomes for millions of people across Africa.

2017

The 2017 winners were Kenyan professor Ruth Oniang’o and Malian Mme Maïmouna Sidibe Coulibaly, who were jointly recognized for their exemplary efforts in driving Africa’s agriculture transformation.

2016

While in 2016 the AFP was awarded to Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, a Nigerian and the former President of the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Dr. Nwanze was recognized for his outstanding leadership in putting Africa´s smallholder farmers at the center of the global agricultural agenda.


About the Africa Food Prize

The Africa Food Prize recognizes extraordinary women, men, and institutions whose outstanding contributions to African agriculture are forging a new era of sustainable food security and economic opportunity that elevates all Africans. The US $100,000 prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agriculture agenda. It puts a 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.

Building on the values and principles established by the Yara Prize, the Africa Food Prize puts a bright spotlight on achievements and innovations with transformative power that can be scaled and replicated across the continent to eliminate hunger and poverty and provide a vital new source of employment and income.

The Africa Food prize is enabled by the sponsorship of Yara International and Corteva. The prize recognises exceptional individuals and institutions improving food security and catalyzing innovation and transformative change in Africa’s agricultural sector from amongst nominees. It is awarded every year during the annual AGRF Summit.

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Agrf.media@hudsonsandler.com