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African governments urged to boost agriculture to lift prosperity

African governments have been urged to step up efforts to accelerate the continent's path to prosperity, inclusive growth and decent jobs-creation, by moving from commitments to action.

Agnes Kalibata, the president of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), said agriculture is at the top of Africa's development agenda as an economic driver for inclusive and sustainable development and urged concrete action to transform the sector.

"After 'seizing the moment' at AGRF 2016 and securing political, policy, and financial commitments of more than $30 billion, we now need to harness this surge of support for agriculture and ensure it creates decent jobs and drives economic growth across the continent," she said in statement.

Kalibata, Rwanda's former agriculture minister said governments on the continent, private sector actors, donors and development partners need to work together to improve the agriculture sector, noting that it is the "surest path to Africa's prosperity".

AGRF 2016 is scheduled for September 4-8 in the West African nation, which has been touted as a leading "agricultural powerhouse and a hub of expertise in improving smallholder farming". Ivory Coast will be the first Francophone African country to host the annual forum, according to the statement from the organisers. AGRF 2017 will be held under the theme, "Accelerating Africa's Path to Prosperity: Growing Economies and Jobs through African Agriculture".

Speaking at the event, the president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, said the bank prioritised the agriculture sector with its $24 billion Feed Africa Strategy.

Adesina said: "AGRF 2017 will bring together stakeholders in the African agricultural landscape to share lessons on countering the challenges being experienced in the agricultural sector across the African continent. Through the Feed Africa Strategy, AfDB will increase agriculture financing to over $24 billion in the next 10 years."

The forum, expected to attract African Heads of State and Government, ministers, farmer organisations, agribusiness operators, financial institutions, researchers, development partners, and implementing organisations, will discuss and advance policies, programmes, and scalable investments for the enhancement of agricultural transformation and food security.

Publication date: 4/20/2017


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