AGRF 2018 Day 3: Quotes of the Day  

AGRF 2020

“Remember that if we get these things right, lives are changed. People have hope. This continent starts to be what it can and should be… This isn’t just a conversation about policy… it’s a worthwhile mission, and we are, at last, on our way.”

  • Hon. Tony Blair, Executive Chairman, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, and Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


“I would like to say to the people of Rwanda that you should be really proud of what you have achieved as a country.”

  • Hon. Tony Blair, Executive Chairman, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, and Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


“Instead of making women bankable, let’s make financial institutions ‘womenable’!’

  • Jemimah Njuki, Senior Programme Specialist, IDRC


“For Africa’s agricultural transformation to happen, women must be at the table, where decisions and deals are being made. The place of women in agriculture is not just on the farm”

  • Jemimah Njuki, Senior Programme Specialist, IDRC


“Sustainably increasing productivity in agriculture means leadership and investment in people, policy and institutions. And women are the centre of gravity of that productivity”

  • Diana Louise Ofwona, Regional Director, UN Women Office for West and Central Africa


“Informal traders at the borders, especially women, have a very substantive impact on regional trade. We have to continue providing them with the necessary info they need on the policies that influence their daily activities.”

  • Frank Matsaert, CEO, TradeMark East Africa


“The flow of funding is dependent on whether the farmer is connected to such institutions as credit reference bureaus, markets and payment systems. It is only then when we complete digitising the whole system and link together all the players that we shall remove the remoteness associated with farming and make the industry attractive to financiers.”

  • James Mwangi, the CEO, Equity Bank


“We need to think of a digitised system that connects farmers to credit access.”

  • James Mwangi, the CEO, Equity Bank


“Technology is not the problem, the problem is to match the technology with the farmer. We need to come up with better ways to incentivise farmers to engage in the digital revolution.”

  • Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa, Minister of Information Technology and Communications, Rwanda


Profitable farming is capital and knowledge intensive. You cannot make profit from farming without maximizing the economies of scale, and that is why we need to support mechanization and provide training.”

  • Oluwole Fatunbi, the Forum Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)

“We cannot say it enough times; bringing financial support to the rural level is the biggest challenge to agriculture today.”

  • Gilbert Houngbo, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development. 

“Agriculture is the most capital intense industry in the world. We need to step up our financing of Agriculture projects in the continent.”

  • Lionel Zinsou, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, SouthBridge and Former Prime Minister of Benin

“If we don’t have a financial revolution, we will not have a green revolution.”

  • Lionel Zinsou, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, SouthBridge and Former Prime Minister of Benin

“Entrepreneurs should not be ashamed of failure. It’s their pathway to success”

  • Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman, Econet, and Co-Chair, Pathways for Prosperity

When I took over as minister early last year, I discovered that we only had 1,600 extension workers across the country of whom 80 percent were due to retire. So, I immediately recruited 1,000 graduates last year,  and this year, I am recruiting 2,700 more.”

  • Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Republic of Ghana

“Agriculture is the future in terms of creating opportunities for jobs for millions of young people. Technology, especially digitalisation is key to unlocking those opportunities.”

  • Michael Hailu, Director, CTA

“No country has come out of poverty without having an inclusive agriculture transformation agenda that makes small holder farmers more competitive”

  • Rodger Voorhies, Executive Director, Global Growth and Opportunity, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“We don’t talk a lot about politics at all levels and how it affects the capacity of African governments to deliver on their priorities. AASR 2018 has captured this very well.”

  • Jendayi Frazer, Managing Partner, Africa Exchange Holdings

“We wanted to engage the key players of food and land use policies and systems and shift their perceptions from theory models to practical models that bring about change.”

  • Jeremy Oppenheim, Founding Partner, SYSTEMIQ.

“It took a lot of convincing and research to convince our government that Ethiopia did not have a National Land plan and policy. However, we were successful in getting the go ahead to come up with one which has tremendously improved our agricultural sector.”

  • Gete Zeleke, Director, Water & Land Research Centre, Addis Ababa University.


“Food security is a legitimate concern for Governments. However there is politics and vested interests. But we need predictability of policy that is political acceptable and not disrupt trade and private sector investments.”

  • Marco Serena, Senior Private Sector Development Advisor, Agribusiness Investment and Regional Food Markets, DFID


“Get practical, get to know and remove trade barriers. It is key that the hardware, software, policy and legal aspects work together to ease food trade in Africa.”

  • Frank Matsaert, CEO, TradeMark East Africa


“This season we will reach 300,000 farm households but through our partnership with the Rwanda Agri Board on farmer extension, we’ll be able to reach 2 million farmers with extension services through the Twigire Muhinzi program.”

  • Doreen Ndishabandi, Government Relations Analyst, One Acre Fund


“It’s clear African agriculture has become much better in the last 15 years, but we need to accelerate Africa’s Green Revolution”

  • Rajiv Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation


“Agriculture is not just potentially a commercial business but a cutting edge technology driven business. “

  • Rajiv Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation