With Tanzania set to host the transformative Africa Food Systems 2023 Summit next week, Mr. Gerald Mweli, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, is front and center in setting expectations sky-high for the event. Under his leadership, Tanzania’s agriculture stakeholders are gearing up for a summit that promises to be more than just another conference—it’s envisioned as a catalyst for sweeping change across the country’s and the continent’s agriculture sectors.
A Platform for Global Partnerships
“Since Tanzania strives to become the food and agricultural services center in the region, this conference is yet another impetus towards achieving that goal,” Mweli noted. He believes that the Summit will not only boost local agriculture but also serve as a launchpad for Tanzanian businesses to go global. “We have invited big companies; this will offer opportunities to our businesspeople in the country to market their businesses on the global platform and learn from them,” he stated.
The Fertilizer Frontier
As Tanzania eagerly anticipates the launch of its own fertilizer industry, Mweli highlighted the Summit as an ideal platform to seek foreign markets. The event is expected to attract global manufacturers of agricultural inputs and provide valuable networking opportunities for Tanzanian businesses.
Although the initial target for the Summit was to host 3,000 participants, Mweli proudly noted that the number of confirmations has already exceeded expectations. “This big number shows their trust in our country, specifically efforts by President Samia [Suluhu Hassan] in marketing the country internationally,” he said. With four Heads of State, including Kenyan President William Ruto, already confirmed, the stage is set for a high-profile gathering.
Mr. Abdallah Mkindi, National Coordinator of the Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity (TABIO), shared Mweli’s optimism. He expects that the AGRF Summit will discuss agriculture in a comprehensive manner. “I think the Green Revolution will be at the center stage because it needs huge investments in agriculture, but in most African countries, investments are still low,” Mkindi commented.
A Collective Vision
The Summit convenes an eclectic blend of leaders, policymakers, scientists, and even the youth. It aims to establish actionable plans that will significantly boost Africa’s food security and overall livelihoods, focusing on innovation and investments rather than relying solely on aid.
Partnerships for Progress
The AGRF Partners Group organises the Summit, featuring 26 leading organizations including AGRA, Bayer AG, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Their past work has demonstrated their capability to effect meaningful change; AGRA alone catalyzed 1.4 billion US dollars in investments and reached 11 million farmers between 2017 and 2021.