The Eighth African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) was held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 5 to 8 September. The Forum was hosted by H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and 2018 Chairperson of the African Union. Other co-hosts were the 17 members of the AGRF Partners Group, which include SACAU and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) as the AGRF Secretariat.
The Forum was attended by 2,800 delegates, including current and former heads of states, from 79 countries. There were more than 46 sessions and 350 speakers. The theme of the AGRF was Lead, Measure, Grow: Enabling New Pathways to Turn Smallholders into Sustainable Agribusinesses. It recognised that Africa is on the move with many nations pushing to achieve middleincome status and a few others aspiring for high-income status. But achieving these aspirations requires innovative and evidencebased leadership across the agricultural sector.
The discussions highlighted, among others, the technology, innovations, policies and institutions that can lead to an economically and environmentally sustainable African agriculture transformation. Delegates discussed how to equip farmers with what they need to succeed and connect them to stable food systems that can translate their abundant harvests into a wider assortment of affordable, nutritious food for African consumers.
The 2018 Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR) “Catalysing State Capacity to Drive Agriculture Transformation” was also launched during the official opening. It places a central focus on state capability in achieving desired outcomes from agriculture. The Forum paid tribute to H.E. Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General, who sadly passed away in the month leading up to AGRF 2018. He is the one who called for a uniquely African Green Revolution that resulted in the formation of AGRF and its secretariat, AGRA. Leaders applauded the launch in January of the Inaugural Biennial Review Report and African Agriculture Transformation Scorecard (AATS), which the African Union presented as coming through on commitments it has made to Heads of State and the sector. It is the first such report on the implementation of the 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agriculture Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods.
The report revealed that 20 of 47 African Union Member States are on track to achieve commitments made in the 2014 AU Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Leaders commended the willingness of all 47 countries to provide a thorough and transparent accounting of areas where they are progressing and areas that still need attention so that they can learn from each other and continuously improve.
However, leaders also noted that current progress is still insufficient to achieve the vision forged in the Malabo Declaration. They sought out fresh approaches and commitments that can supercharge the agriculture sector and unleash the full potential of Africa. Several major outcomes and action agendas were embraced during the AGRF 2018.
Specifically, the Forum endorsed significant commitments around securing new agribusiness investments, engaging new development partners, increasing regional trade in agriculture commodities, and embracing evidence-based leadership. The 2018 Africa Food Prize was awarded to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the first institution to receive the prestigious award
It was selected for its leadership in generating agricultural research and technologies that have improved food security, nutrition, and incomes for millions of people across Africa, and for its consistent innovation to find new solutions to the continent’s most pressing challenges of youth unemployment, climate change, and pests and diseases.
The launch of the new Fall Armyworm Research for Development (R4D) International Consortium that brings together 35 public and private sector institutions to create a coordinated strategy and consolidate millions of dollars in new support to fight an invasive plant-eating insect that could cause US $6 billion in damage to maize, sorghum and other African food staples.
For the full AGRF communique and more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or +254 203675000