Finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) is returning as a partner of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) – Africa’s largest agriculture conference – being held online for the first time in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The tenth yearly AGRF, being held from September 8 to 11, will be headlined by African heads of State and government and will bring together delegates from governments, civil society, the private sector and research communities.
AGRF 2020 is hosted by the government of Rwanda and the AGRF Partners Group, organised under the theme Feed the Cities, Grow the Continent.
“As Covid-19 causes disruptions across Africa, we must prioritise policy support, especially for small and medium enterprises that produce, process and market 60% of food consumed on the continent.
"We need to enhance movement of inputs and food, increase production of and access to healthy and nutritious foods, establish food security task forces in countries, as well as strengthen regional organization capacity to monitor multi-country initiatives. AGRF is the platform to move these policy conversations forward,” says AfDB agriculture, human and social development acting VP Wambui Gichuri.
Gichuri leads the bank’s “digital delegation” to AGRF, along with several other representatives from the organisation. The delegation will take part in nine AGRF sessions.
Gichuri is scheduled to deliver remarks during a nutrition-themed plenary: Building Back Better – Growing the Continent. This policy symposium, to be held on September 9, will discuss the United Nations' 'The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World', the ongoing pandemic, and feeding the continent.
AfDB chief financial economist Edson Mpyisi will help judge the AGRF Agripreneur Competition Finale parallel session on September 8. The competition brings together young entrepreneurs, innovators and “movers and shakers” in Africa’s agri-food sector.
Mpyisi will also serve as a panellist on the Strengthening the Ecosystem for Young African Agripreneurs session, which will look at action plans on how to better serve the needs of young agripreneurs.
Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa coordinator Marieme Esther Dassanou will join a panel of experts discussing Making the Most of Gender-Based Financing on September 9.
The session will hone in on the methods needed to identify and fund women entrepreneurs who are part of the hidden middle that links farmers to the value-added processing, retailing and food service sectors in urban centres across the continent.