Heads of states, government ministers, civil society, and business leaders across Africa in a meeting in Kigali Rwanda mid September resolved to use the flourishing urban food markets as a launchpad for growing the continent’s agricultural investments into stable businesses.
Speaking in front of about 10,400 delegates who attended the 10th edition of the annual African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame noted that urban centres are coming up so fast in many parts of the continent hence a need to find a way of boosting agricultural practices.
“Increasingly, African consumers live in cities. Our continent has the world’s fastest rates of urbanization and will continue to do so, for decades to come. The quality of that urbanization depends, in large part, on ensuring solid linkages between urban food markets and Africa’s rural producers”, President Kagame noted.
He noted that despite COVID-19 pandemic effects, Africa as a continent must stay course and ensure that better collaborations are made on fiscal space. His sentiments were also echoed by Hailemariam Dessalegn the Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
The four-day summit saw delegates explore innovative ways to streamline the continent’s agricultural value chains. Agri-preneurs, youth entrepreneurs and business leaders showcased innovative models, ready for investment and scaling, while scientists, researchers and thought leaders demonstrated ways in which policy amendments and innovative technology could lead to stronger agricultural value chains.
The much celebrated Agribusiness Deal Room also saw around 208 businesses, 55 financial investors, 20 business development service providers and 54 anchor buyers engage while over 1,000 investment and partnership meetings took place.
Deliberations at the forum made it clear that coordinated efforts between players in the public and private sector actors can unlock the potential of Africa’s agricultural endeavors, leading to food sufficiency for all.
The meeting also saw the launch of the 2020 Africa Agricultural Status Report, Feeding Africa’s Cities, which assesses the opportunities, challenges and policies required to enable African farmers and agribusinesses serve the rapidly growing urban food markets.