The AGRF 2021 Summit kicked off today in Nairobi, Kenya convening close to 7,000 participants virtually, including African presidents, agriculture Ministers, agricultural stakeholders and experts to discuss ways the continent can transform food systems and accelerate progress to eradicating hunger and poverty.
Hosted by the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Agriculture, the summit starts today and will run till Friday, 10th September under the theme of ‘Pathways to recovery and resilient food systems. In line with the upcoming global UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), the AGRF Summit intends to unite and elevate a single coordinated voice to the UNFSS, that will call for accelerated progress and post pandemic recovery towards inclusive agricultural transformation.
Kenyan president, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, will lead a presidential summit comprising 10 African heads of State to review the gains made in Africa’s agricultural landscape. The Summit will also advocate for the implementation of policy and political decisions necessary to drive food systems transformation on the continent.
This year’s Summit will include a commitments showcase, where AGRF partners and key stakeholders will highlight initiatives and commitments to transform food systems and accelerate Africa’s delivery of the 2030 targets.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Board Chair H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn said that the Summit marks a defining moment for transforming the continent’s food systems.
“Africa’s agriculture transformation will only happen if we collectively decide to advance past commitments. We know the binding constraints that have hindered progress in achieving national and continental agriculture priorities. This Summit brings us together to collaborate and hone our leadership and technical skills useful in unlocking sector implementation challenges. By actioning commitments and discussing challenges on our way, we can partner to empower African communities.”
A key session during the Summit includes a Farmers’ Forum. The forum, will put a spotlight on the continent’s farmers and discuss pathways to ensure they are thriving and contributing to building resilient food systems for the continent. Summit sessions will also look at how youth and women can be included and engaged to transform the continent’s food systems capitalizing on their large numbers and education capacity, helping to provide guidance for policy, and evidence-based approaches that foster productive participation.
Kenya’s Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Hon. Peter
“Engaging the youth and women in achieving food systems transformation is key to realising inclusive progress in the agriculture sector. Today, African youth and women represent an indispensable resource and as Government, we are tasked to ensure their energies and talents work to achieve our nation’s food and nutrition agenda. The Youth Town Hall during this summit will be integral for leaders and agricultural stakeholders to listen and chart ways the youth can be employed to advance food systems transformation, and I hope this roadmap will be embraced by other African countries.”
The Acting Managing Director AGRF, Ms. Jennifer Baarn said: “The AGRF 2021 Summit is critical for Africa’s agricultural and food systems development. However, if we do not advance the commitments we make today and throughout this week, we will not get to zero hunger. As Africa reels and rebuilds from the impact of COVID-19, rebuilding efforts must include smallholder farmers, the youth and women as they represent a sizeable percentage of Africa’s population. Our discussions should be inclusive and our plans hereafter should be achievable.”