African governments need to act fast and decisively to address challenges affecting the agriculture sector and investing in key areas that will see farmers increase output if the continent is to achieve sustainable and resilient food systems.
The call was sounded at the end of the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF 2022) which concluded in Kigali on Friday, marking a turning point for African agriculture and food systems.
The AGRF 2022 Summit concluded with optimism and a strong ask to leaders to act decisively and swiftly to implement the ambitions and practical actions discussed during the summit.
The Summit which brought together over 2400 delegates in Kigali and over 4000 delegates virtually, highlighted the importance of collaboration in fast-tracking progress and emphasized the need for cooperation and capacity building as a response to the various shocks currently affecting the continent’s food systems.
Current and former Heads of State and Government leaders declared their commitment to supporting and driving efforts to build food security and transform food systems, and build a sustainable, profitable, and productive agricultural ecosystem in Africa.
They voiced their determination to direct more resources to agriculture and committed to building stronger partnerships within and outside Africa, including with the Commonwealth member states.
Speaking during the closing ceremony, Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources Rwanda stressed the need to translate the discussions into action.
“Throughout this AGRF 2022 Summit, it has been emphasized that we cannot just continue talking and not implementing. From here, we should have fewer words and more action,”
“It is now time for Africa to find solutions for its problems and we must take matters into our own hands to develop resilient food systems that can withstand external shocks.” Dr. Mukeshimana said.
Speakers throughout the week hailed the current and ongoing efforts by African nations toward building sustainability.
However, they stressed the need to boost Africa’s food production; to reduce the overreliance on imports, and to lessen public expenditure.
They noted that Africa’s agriculture sector hosts numerous opportunities, citing the need for immediate action and coordinated efforts as key in enabling the continent to produce enough to nourish her population and her economies.
In his closing remarks, the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and chair AGRF, Hailemariam Dessalegn said that the AGRF 2022 summit was aimed at fostering bold actions and there is a political will across the continent to move forward fast.
“I am delighted to confirm that we have made the first steps on this journey. I would like to reiterate that we cannot do it alone,”
“The summit has emphasized the role our partners play in this transformation journey. We must walk the talk together” he said.
The summit emphasized the indispensable role of the private sector. Stakeholders stressed that innovation in finance must be led and supported by governments and driven by entrepreneurs to reality.
The full summit declaration can be accessed here