"Agriculture and Agro-business" and "Mobile Commerce" CITI – African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)

Date: Monday, May 24, 2010
Room: Casino, Salle Ivoire I
Time: 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


  • Mr.Mthuli NCUBE, Chief Economist and Vice President, AfDB


AERC Economists

  • Mr. Gabriel ELEPU from Uganda, and
  • Mr. Mwangi KIMENYI from Kenya

Corporate clients

  • Mr. LAMBLIN, CEO of the SIFCA Group
  • Mr. Vanhelleputte WIM, CEO of MTN

Central Bank Governors (tbc)


  • Mr. David COWAN, Citi's chief African Economist

This is an event that is jointly sponsored by the Citigroup, the African Economic Research Consortium  (AERC) and the Bank. The events’ objective is to provide a bridge between academic research and public policymaking and is structured around key topical themes.

For this event two themes will be covered – agriculture and agro-business, andmobile commerce. A brief outline of coverage of each theme is outlined in the following sections: Agriculture/agro-business – This session will explore the policies and models that promote private investment in agriculture/agro-business and strike the proper balance between large-scale "corporate" farming, issues of land reformand small land-holdings, while taking into account extenuating factors such as climate change and climate variability, which has, climate variability and change has continued to severely compromise agricultural production and food security in many African countries.

Mobile Commerce - This session will explore the policies and regulatory framework for managing the  explosion of mobile commerce across the African continent which has recorded the most rapid uptake of mobile telephony and the attendant investment in ICT since the year 2000. Mobile phone technology has effectively reduced the costs of doing business by empowering users with timely knowledge, reducing transaction costs, and appropriate skills for increasing productivity. And with the concept of agriculture as a commodity chain,mobile commerce has in several cases erased barriers to trade  entrance, production, and consumption decisions. While access to finance, financial services and systems are undoubtedly necessities for economic growth, this session will delve into the questions of regulation of initiatives that provide financial services to the previously underserved or unserved.