In early September, the African Green Revolution Forum 2020 (AGRF) was held under the theme “Feed the Cities, Grow the Continent: Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa“. This online event encouraged us to rethink Africa’s food systems to make them more resilient, nutritionally sound and conducive to greater prosperity for all.
The four-day Forum was held at an unprecedented time, in the midst of an impending food crisis in Africa, exacerbated by confinements imposed in several countries to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is just one of many challenges facing the population, in addition to climate change, malnutrition, poverty and pest outbreaks (such as locusts and corn rootworms).
AGRF called on governments, producers and the private and food sector to make specific commitments. Specifically, regarding the promotion of gender equality and nutrition, public policies, technology, innovation and investments to boost the demand for healthy, varied and nutritious food.
In the course of the four days, delegates studied innovative ways to streamline the agricultural value chains of the continent. Agro-entrepreneurs—many of them young—showed innovative models, ready for investment and expansion. Meanwhile, scientists and researchers showed ways in which technological innovation chains could lead to stronger agricultural value.
In his closing speech, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, said: “Our continent has the world’s fastest rates of urbanisation and will continue to do so, for decades to come. The quality of that urbanisation depends, largely, on ensuring solid linkages between urban food markets and Africa’s rural producers”.