High-level forum seeks ways to beef up Africa’s food security

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - A number of African heads of state and chief executives of private business firms, financial institutions and scientists will convene at the edge of a national park in northern Tanzania this week to look for ways to unite the power of the public and private sectors in the global food security efforts.

The three-day meeting, being organised by the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) from 26 September at Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, nestled between the snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro and Arusha National Park, is an action-focused follow-up to recent discussions at World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa, the G8 and UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Hunger Summit.

With food security now on the global agenda, according to AGRF, “leaders are turning to African agriculture as the answer to the question of how we feed the future.”

AGRF focuses on promoting investments and policy support for driving agricultural productivity and income growth for African farmers in an environmentally sustainable way.
  
The forum is a private-sector led initiative which brings together various stakeholders to discuss and develop concrete investment plans for achieving the green revolution in Africa.

Farmers, NGOs and civil society organisations will also take part in the discussions with a view to developing concrete investment plans for scaling agricultural development success in Africa.

At the recent G8 Summit, global leaders made bold new commitments to unite the power of the public and private sectors, launching the next phase of the global food security effort.

“The approach is clear as we must invest in Africa's potential for rapid and sustainable agricultural growth to raise 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years,” the Summit affirmed.

According AGRF 2012 organisers, the emphasis in continuing the global dialogue that began with the WEF on Africa and the G8 should be on the right way to scale up investments and innovation for sustainable agricultural growth, by putting smallholder farmers at the centre.

Regarding the conference venue, they explained that it would allow attendees to connect with Africa's agricultural landscape as it lies within a lush, 140-acre coffee plantation with natural streams and verdant hills.

Around 600 official participants of the conference will be hosted by Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan chairing the forum.

According to the conference programme, keynote speakers include African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Deputy AUC Chairperson Erastus J.O. Mwencha,  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates, Jørgen Ole Haslestad, Chief Executive Officer of YARA International, African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka, and Kanayo Nwanze, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development.

At the recent G8 Summit, global leaders including 21 African countries and 27 private sector companies committed US$3 billion to a New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, launching the next phase of the global food security effort to raise 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years.

At this week’s gathering, global leaders will tackle leadership policy, revolutionising African agricultural finance models, strengthening markets, and transforming African agriculture through innovative partnerships.

“Tanzania has long known farming is at the centre of our economy,” said Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Christopher K. Chiza. “We are pleased to welcome leaders from across the continent and around the world to find new ways to scale the success we’ve seen in our own agricultural breadbasket.”
-0- PANA AR/SEG 23Sept2012

23 september 2012 11:57:50




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