The African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with Initiative for Global Development (IGD) and Grow Africa is organizing the first high-level convening, Leadership4Agriculture (L4Ag) Forum, on November 28 at the AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The invitation-only L4Ag Forum, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, will be held on the sidelines of the AU-EU Summit on November 29-30, 2017.
This action-oriented Forum will assemble influential leaders - African high-level officials, private sector leaders and community champions - for dialogue, advocacy and policy action to drive Africa's agriculture transformation.
Africa's agriculture sector and agribusiness are projected to create a US $1 trillion by 2030. Despite this tremendous potential, total investment in the sector falls short of levels required to deliver fundamental change fuel agricultural transformation. According to the African Development Bank's Feed Africa Strategy for Agriculture Transformation in Africa 2016-2025, between US $315-400 billion is required over the next ten years to transform strategic agricultural value chains.
Constraints to the development of the agribusiness sector in Africa include: low yield; an unsupportive enabling environment; insecure land tenure; insufficient/inadequate hard and soft infrastructure; poorly developed marked linkages; limited value-added processing capacity; high post-harvest losses; insufficient inclusion of youth and women; and limited access to technologies, information, skills, and finance.
Guided by recent findings from the World Bank's 2017 Enabling the Business of Agriculture Report and the 2017 Africa Transformation Report by African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), the L4Ag Forum will focus on harnessing agriculture and agribusiness as an engine of economic transformation in Africa. The expected outcomes of the Forum are as follows:
Agriculture and agribusiness champions drive action on growing the agribusiness sector in Africa;
Government leaders seek support for policy reforms to drive agribusiness growth in their countries;
Private sector leaders gain potential agribusiness investment opportunities; and
Partners can identify agribusiness investment opportunities
The L4Ag Forum will feature a keynote address and two panel sessions with African Finance and Agriculture Ministers and business leaders from across the African continent. The first panel, "Enabling the Business of Agriculture: Increasing Access to Agricultural Inputs to Enhance Productivity and Regulatory Reforms", will focus on improving commercial access to seeds, fertilizer, and mechanization. The second panel, "Agriculture Powering Africa's Economic Transformation: Fueling Agro-industry and Agribusiness", will draw attention to commercializing agriculture; adding value and spurring agro-industry; and innovative financing.
During the Action Roundtable sessions of the Forum, high-level government officials and business leaders from Africa will have an opportunity to re-imagine government and business engagement, brainstorm achievable goals around a specific agribusiness sector growth policy, and explore investment opportunities in agribusiness ventures.
"Recognizing agriculture as a business is a core aspect of the strategy to advance growth in Africa," said IGD President Mima S. Nedelcovych. "The Leadership4Agriculture Forum is an opportunity for private sector leaders and high-level African officials to strengthen their partnership by identifying their aligning interests so that Africa's agricultural sector can reach its full potential."
For more information on the L4Ag Forum: http://www.igdleaders.org/leadership4agriculture-forum/