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African leaders urged to invest more in agriculture as a key to accelerating the continent’s path to prosperity

Dates: 
September 12, 2017

African leaders urged to invest more in agriculture as a key to accelerating the continent’s path to prosperity

September 12, 2017, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire –Africa’s leaders have been urged to invest more in agriculture if the continent is to be prosperous. The call came during the official opening of the 7th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) on September 6, 2017.

The forum was officially opened by the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire H.E, Alassane Ouattara and was attended by Republic of Liberia President, H.E Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Tanzania's former President, H.E Jakaya Kikwete, former Nigerian President, H.E Olusegun Obasanjo; former Ghanian President, H.E John Kufour, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E Josefa Sacko and AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, among many other dignitaries.

Officially opening the forum themed, “Accelerating the Path to Prosperity: Growing Inclusive Economies and Jobs through Agriculture,” President Ouattara listed some achievements made by the country in the agricultural sector due to deliberate efforts to invest in the sector. He reiterated that credible partnerships and sustained mobilization of resources to finance agriculture in Africa would also depend on the fulfillment of commitments made in the AU 2014 Malabo Declaration committed to by AU leaders.

“That is why I am pleased to announce that Côte d'Ivoire will fulfill its commitments on agricultural financing and is ready to support all actions of regional and subregional organizations for the development of agriculture,” President Ouatarra said.

During the opening ceremony, Commissioner Sacko participated in a high level panel discussion on, ‘Coming through on 2016 Commitments.’ The panelists discussed implementation of commitments made in 2016 as well as ways to transform agriculture in Africa and covered a myriad of topics including the advancement of smallholder farmers, empowering women and youth, private sector engagement and participation in agriculture and building capacity for all stakeholders in the agriculture value chain, among others.

Commissioner Sacko, discussed the role of the African Union Commission as regards guiding countries in the implementation of decisions and commitments made by AU Heads of State and Government. Citing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), the AU 2014 Malabo Declaration and Africa’s Agenda 2063, she said the AUC empowers countries to have credible plans to transform agriculture and to ensure that commitments and decisions made by AU leaders are actualized.

Commissioner Sacko informed the forum that, “Countries where the leadership has been involved in implementation of CAADP and Malabo are doing better in transformation of agriculture and have evidence of socio-economic growth.”

She further said that the AUC regarded as pertinent, issues of implementation and mutual accountability in countries as CAADP and Malabo commitments are being rolled out.

Commissioner Sacko mentioned the biennial review process as one of the examples of how the AUC was guiding the CAADP and Malabo implementation process.

Meanwhile, during the opening ceremony, AGRF awarded two women, Ms. Maimuona Sidibe (Mali) and Prof. Ruth Oniang’o (Kenya) as joint winners of the Africa Food Prize, now in its second year. The accolade calls attention to individuals and institutions that are inspiring and driving agricultural innovation throughout Africa.

The AGRF 2017, has brought together over 800 participants to advance policies and secure investments that will ensure a better life for millions of Africa’s farmers and families.

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For more information please contact:
Ms. Carol Jilombo
CAADP Communications Officer
Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture
JilomboC@africa-union.org

For further information:
Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: DIC@african-union.org I Website: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

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