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Organised under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Senegal and the Prime Minister and hosted by Senegal’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment, this year’s AgriBusiness Forum (http://www.emrc.be/en/events/agribus2012.aspx) will highlight the importance of Africa’s agricultural potential under the theme “Boosting African Agriculture through Partnership, Investment and Technology,” bringing together over 400 people from across the world linked to the global Agri-Food industry.
The Forum will take place from 25-28 November 2012 in Dakar, Senegal announced the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment and Idit Miller, EMRC International Vice President, at a joint press conference on 7th September in Dakar, Senegal.
« Inciting the private sector to invest in agriculture in Africa is the principal objective for the Government of Senegal to host this important international meeting, the AgriBusiness Forum 2012. Already in 2003 in Mozambique, the Conference of the Heads of States of the African Union ensured that heads of states dedicate at least 10% of their budget to agriculture. Ten years later one can notice that this measure is not enough to reinvigorate agricultural development. It is necessary for Africa to obtain its food security independence and the private sector has a primary role to play to achieve this » explains Maimouna LO, Secretary General for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment.
The AgriBusiness Forum will be held in collaboration with FAO, the Rabobank Foundation and the Pan African Agribusiness and Agro Industry Consortium (PanAAC). The Forum will showcase the key issues currently underpinning the Agri-Food sector and highlight expected objectives and business projections. International agricultural experts, Government officials, multinationals, farmer and private sector associations, donor organisations, civil society, investors and financiers representing Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas will participate to discuss on-going projects, best practices and strategic policies with the aim of establishing investment and business partnerships for this sector, acknowledged as pivotal for the entire continent’s growth.
This year’s focus on partnership, investment and technology is in parallel with the G8’s 2012 vision to tackle the issue of food security and the global movement to ensure real growth and sustainability, established via several key strategies such as the New Vision for Agriculture (presented at WEF), NEPAD’s Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), and the African Agribusiness and Agro-industries Development initiative (3ADI), which focuses on fostering public-private sector partnerships and increased private sector investment on agribusiness development in Africa.
“Africa has been the new frontier for the Agri-Food industry since feeding the world became a global issue in 2008. Today the international community is going a step further and insisting that the correct investment and private-public partnerships and the appropriate technologies will finally unlock Africa’s potential and the world’s growing demand for food. Hosting the AgriBusiness Forum in Senegal will also highlight the role West Africa’s can play and ensure real measures and partnerships are established,” explains Idit Miller, EMRC International’s Vice Present.
Last year’s Agribusiness Forum provided the platform for the Johannesburg Declaration, jointly signed by the United Nations Development Programme - South Africa Bureau - and EMRC International, highlighting the importance of public-private partnership in developing the continent’s agribusiness sector, ensuring food security and nutrition as well as the crucial role played by the private sector. The vast agricultural lands across African countries have the capability to provide a significant share of the world’s agricultural output and global food requirements for 2050. In turn, the Agri-Food industry can become a major source of income and employment for an important part of the continent’s population.
Supporting the idea of establishing long-term goals in terms of business and employment is the concept behind the EMRC-Rabobank Project Incubator Award, which offers a cash prize of US$15,000 to an African business project that is pushing the boundaries in innovation and sustainability in agricultural rural development.
The guiding rational behind EMRC International’s vision is that Africa’s private sector must be the key to developing the continent in order to ensure sustainability and long-term growth.
by S. C.
25 september 2012, World News > Africa