The German-African Business Association, together with the German Agribusiness Alliance, conducted the 7th German-African Agribusiness Forum, “Making Africa’s Food Systems more Resilient: how to align policy strategies and private sector engagement?”.
This virtual event was held on the 26th of January 2021. Panelists included:
- H.E. Josefa Sacko Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture African Union Commission
- Joseph Owona Kono President, Afruibana
- Marlehn Thieme President, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V.
- Friedrich Wacker Director General EU Affairs, International Cooperation and Fisheries Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
- Johannes Buschmeier Managing Director, AFC Agriculture and Finance Consultants GmbH
As an introduction, Mr. Buschmeier gave an insight view on the private sector’s position regarding status and actions needed, to involve them in reaching the goal of improving Africa’s food systems’ resilience. In this regard, he emphasised the need to consider the whole value chain and to tackle the high amount of food waste, as well as to integrate the small scale farmers. He identified training measures and demonstration plants as useful and sustainable approaches for this, especially when digital solutions are taking into account. At the same time, an appropriate framework from the state is needed, so that investors can rely on a legal system and on standards for sustainable production, organic production being a relevant part of them. Last but not least, financing systems for small and medium enterprises enable an improved business environment, and both farmers and bankers need to be supported in a facilitated communication with each other.
The vivid and fruitful discussions with the other panellists revealed the common interest, from the public and the private stakeholders, as well as from the non-governmental actors on:
• The knowledge and the exchange of experience, rather than financial issues;
• The complementary roles of the public and private sectors;
• The necessity of standards to ensure that agribusiness is not only focused on economic measures, but takes social and environmental aspects into account;
• The potential of Africa to feed its population and restrain from large import capacities of food.
Creating and maintaining safe access to food systems across the continent is crucial for its economic development. However, the global Covid-19 pandemic had a considerable impact on Africa’s agricultural sector. It is therefore a pivotal time for world and industry leaders to harness the opportunities provided by the rich and diverse agriculture sector on the African continent.
We are honoured that the German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Julia Kloeckner, has participated in the forum, where she presented the Ministry’s commitment to a modern, sustainable agri-food and forestry sector in Africa.