The African Development Bank returns as a top-tier partner of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) – Africa’s largest agriculture conference – taking place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 6-9 September 2022.
On Monday, the Bank kicked off its AGRF 2022 activities by co-organizing a pre-forum side event focused on the African Emergency Food Production Facility at the Kigali Convention Center. The Bank’s $1.5 billion Facility is an unprecedented, comprehensive initiative to support smallholder farmers filling a food shortfall of at least 30 million metric tons of food – especially wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from Russia and Ukraine. Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr. Beth Dunford, will deliver opening remarks at the side event, speaking to how the new Facility will provide 20 million African smallholder farmers with certified seeds, increased access to agricultural fertilizers, as well as help create an enabling environment for investment in building Africa’s food systems.
The Bank has earmarked $100,000 to support this year’s annual AGRF, which will be headlined by African heads of state and government, and will bring together delegates from governments, civil society, the private sector and research communities. The government of Rwanda and the AGRF Partners Group are hosting AGRF 2022, organized under the theme, Grow, Nourish, Reward. Bold Actions for Resilient Food Systems.
“Russia’s war in Ukraine, recovery from Covid-19’s economic impacts and the realities of climate change are complicating efforts to build resilient food systems in Africa. Coming to the continent’s premiere forum related to agriculture with solutions – like the Bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility – affords opportunity to establish new partnerships with a shared vision to feed Africa,” said Dunford.
Dunford will also speak at the Special Event – Agribusiness Deal Room Launch on Tuesday, 6 September at 11:30 EAT and the Plenary Leadership, Finance and Accountability: Advancing National Food Systems’ Pathways later that day at 17:00 EAT. She is also scheduled to participate in the Africa Food Systems Transformation Nexus Roundtable on 7 September at 9:00 and the Special Event: CEO Roundtable: Financing Food Systems Transformation on 8 September at 11:00 EAT, amongst other appearances.
Close to two dozen Bank representatives will join Dunford to participate in several pre-AGRF events, Forum side-events, AGRF plenary sessions, partnerships and other bilateral meetings. Highlights include:
Martin Fregene, Director of Agriculture and Agro-industry at the African Development Bank will also join in the African Emergency Food Production Facility side event to offer closing remarks at a session titled, Bringing the latest in appropriate technology to African food systems, SMEs, and farmers: Mechanization, Digital Tools, Irrigation, & Energy on 8 September.
Other Bank participants include Atsuko Toda, Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Development, who is scheduled to speak at the AGRF Food Crisis Roundtable on 5 September as well as at the Special Event – Agribusiness Deal Room Launch on 6 September. , when the Bank will introduce its new Agri-food SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism Special Fund. The Fund aims to de-risk the provision of financing to the continent’s agriculture sector small and medium enterprises, as well as catalyze private investment.
Rwandan Innocent Musabyimana returns to Kigali in his new role as Coordinator of the Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative. Given TAAT’s delivery of proven technologies to help African smallholder farmers grow more food, Musabyimana leads organization of the Leadership for Agriculture and African Emergency Food Production Facility pre-Forum events, and he will participate in the Rolling Out New Research & Innovation for Sustainable Food Systems session on 6 September.
This year, AGRF’s GoGettaz competition that offers $50,000 in prizes to young “agripreneurs” running Africa’s most innovative and scalable business ventures, will have Bank Chief Financial Economist and ENABLE Youth Coordinator Edson Mpyisi as a judge, for the second time running.
The Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) Coordinator, Esther Dassanou, has been named as a judge for the Value4Her Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards, and will announce the $20,000 winner of the Young Female Agripreneur category.
Other events include AGRF’s Special Event – Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Session: a new vision for sustainable agriculture and food systems transformation, on 6 September, for which the Coordinator of the Bank’s African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism, Marie Claire Kalihangabo, will serve as a panelist. A separate Africa Food Prize Awards Ceremony at the AGRF Gala Dinner will be attended by Aissa Toure Sarr, Bank Country Manager, Rwanda.