Investment breeds success
Some African economies are now amongst the fastest growing in the world. The Economist recently cited an International Monetary Fund study showing that six countries - Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda - had a GDP growth of at least five per cent on average from 1995 to 2010. 
The article made the point that these countries have not relied on the resource and investment boom driven by China. They have achieved growth by controlling public finances, curbing inflation and, crucially, improving the climate for entrepreneurs and small businesses by sweeping away price controls and state monopolies.
This approach in turn attracts further inward investment for economic development in all sectors including agriculture - investments in the form of grants or cheap loans and, importantly, investments from the African diaspora.
There is, though, a massive conundrum facing African farming: urbanisation and the flight of young people from the countryside to the cities. This cannot be ignored.
Half of all Africans are under 20 years old, and more than half of all global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa, more than doubling the continent's population.
As Margaret Karembu, Director of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications AfriCenter graphically describes it: "Migration of young people from rural to urban areas has left food production in the hands of their elderly parents, most of whom are incapable to adjust to modern high-tech farming systems. The status quo has only served to further demotivate the youth as farming is portrayed as a punitive, inferior and non-profitable enterprise." 
A fundamental change in the mindsets of African youths is needed, so they view themselves as key players in the food production chain. This is possible if farming becomes profitable, and if supportive infrastructure is provided that recognises agriculture as a cornerstone of the modern African economy and society.
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