Alliance for A Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Accra

The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) seeks to catalyze investments and increased cooperation to drive development of African agriculture. AGRF will bring together leaders from African governments,local private sector, farming organizations, global enterprises, development agencies and world experts on agricultural development to drive partnership-action.

The focus this year is within five specific areas:

  1. The investment opportunity
  2. The policy environment
  3. Reducing the cost of finance
  4. Increasing agricultural productivity
  5. Increasing financial returns to farmers

 

The vision
The Forum aims to drive transformative change through agricultural development. It focuses on promoting investments and policy support for agricultural productivity to drive income growth for African farmers in an environmentally sustainable way. AGRF believes that the African Green Revolution to a large part will need to be private-sector driven, but will succeed only if the private-sector engages successfully with African governments, foreign aid agencies and other non-governmental support agencies

The challenge
Yet for all its potential, as evidenced by rapidly increasing investments from funds, banks, and sovereign states, an investment in African agriculture carries a higher risk premium than investment in agriculture in other more developed economies. Barriers such as lack of infrastructure, inconsistent export and import tariffs, tenuous land rights that prevent farmers from using land as collateral, prevent progress. At the end of the day, it is the African smallholder farmer who often ends up paying the premium for that risk. Issues are systemic and must be tackled with systemic solutions. Everyone now recognize that a sustainable agricultural economy in Africa ultimately must be catalyzed by the private sector. Africa cannot succeed in turning its agricultural sector into an economic driver unless governments help create an environment in which small businesses can thrive. Equally, African governments must ensure that investment in the African agricultural sector drives not only returns for investors and economic growth for African nations, but also food security and release from poverty and malnutrition for millions of Africans. Aid and support agencies must work with the private sector to ensure that the small-holder farmer profits are not exploited by private sector investment.

Projects
Our focus is therefore on projects that have taken a systemic (or value-chain) approach to agricultural economic development; projects that have involved partners from different industries within the private sector, as well as partners from the public and aid sectors. We will showcase projects that have worked, look at others in development and bring parties together to begin and further new innovative, systemic approaches to mitigating the risk of investing in African agriculture.

The momentum – Public Private Partnerships
In 2004 at a high-level seminar in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mr Kofi Annan challenged the private and public sectors to contribute in reaching the Millennium Development Goals on hunger and poverty. Yara’s CEO took on the challenge and initiated the African Green Revolution Conferences aiming to bring public and private partners together to unlock the agricultural growth potential in Africa as a measure to ensure food security.

2006: Catalyst for Action
Under the theme “Catalyst for Action” the first global public partnership partnership conference was held in Oslo, Norway, in 2006. They agreed on a Conference Resolution, and established a website dedicated to the African Green Revolution to continue the dialogue from the conference, sharing ideas and act in support of African agricultural development.

2007: Partnership for Productivity
Following a successful first conference, the momentum around public private partnerships continued to grow under the conference theme “Partnership for Productivity.” In addition, the conference hosted an informal ministerial and high-level roundtable adopting the Oslo Declaration and Agenda for Action.

2008: Alliance for Action
At the 2008 “Alliance for Action” conference, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) partnered with Yara. The partners and participants came up with the tangible deliverable to drive agricultural growth: agricultural growth corridors. By public and private sectors investing in a country’s backbone infrastructure, agricultural production could be clustered, facilitating farmers’ access to products and provide an opportunity to export products. The Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor in Mozambique investment blueprint was presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2010. In May 2010 at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the partners presented a new project, the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania, modeled on the successes from Mozambique.

AGRF 2010: Investing in African Agriculture
Moving the African Green Revolution Forum to Africa holds with the ambitions to build on the momentum of the Oslo conferences and develop a Forum for the Africans, by the Africans, in Africa. The Forum builds on the public private partnership momentum to unlock Africa’s agricultural growth potential born and grown from the African Green Revolution Conferences in Oslo from 2006-2009 and the public private investment proposals for agricultural growth corridors presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos and on Africa in 2010.

The African Green Revolution Forum builds on Mr Kofi Annan’s call to action: “Let us generate a uniquely African green revolution.”

Strategic partners and sponsors
The AGRF is supported by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Yara, the Rockefeller Foundation,

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IFAD, NEPAD and Standard Bank. AGRF’s industry sponsors include African Development Bank and Norad. Sponsors include African Export Import Bank and OCP. CNN is the broadcast med
ia partner and Jeune Afrique and the Africa Report is the print media partner.

 

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