Agriculture is Africa’s lifeline – and holds the key to the continent’s future growth and development. Increasing Africa’s agricultural productivity is essential to eliminate hunger and ensure food security. With 65-70% of Africans employed in the sector, agriculture is also Africa’s largest generator of jobs. Although crucial to Africa’s economic transformation, agriculture across the continent is in dire need of investments in input and infrastructure as well as stronger and more effective policies to boost productivity, including for small farmers, encourage research, open up new employment opportunities for Africa’s growing number of young people and establish a thriving agri-food sector. The African Union (AU) declares 2014 the international year of agriculture and food security. What is holding back African agriculture? Are African governments and their development partners doing enough to unlock the full potential of agriculture through sustained multi-sectorial interventions? Has the AU established an agenda for revitalizing African agriculture that goes beyond declarations? Is the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), established by the AU, an effective agenda for revitalizing African agriculture, beyond declarations? What role is there for the private sector in ensuring sustainable and inclusive African agriculture and establishing global production networks? Are measures being taken to improve research in the sector? In which way does Africa’s agricultural sector benefit from initiatives such as ‘Grow Africa’? With women making up more than half of Africa’s farmers and producing up to 90% of Africa’s food supply, are there special policies in place to help women farmers? What is the role of information technologies in helping African farmers?
Erastus Mwencha, African Union Commission (AUC) Deputy Chairperson
Agnes Kalibata*, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda
Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO, NEPAD Planning & Coordination Agency
David Nabarro*, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition
Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development
Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture