Transformation of the African Savannah Initiative (TASI)

  • Des Moines Marriott Downtown, 3rd Floor, Cedar Rapids and Council Bluffs Rooms
  • 9:15 – 10:30AM, Wednesday, 18th, October 2017

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Description of the side event

Transformation of African Savannah Initiative (TASI) is one of eight Priority Intervention Area (PIAs) of the Feed Africa Strategy that seeks to end extreme poverty, hunger, malnutrition, food imports by the year 2025.  TASI seeks to transform 16 million Ha out of Africa’s 400 million Ha of Savannah, twice the size of the Brazilian Cerrados, into a bread basket for the production of maize, soybean, and livestock.  The initiative will orchestrate partnerships -  an  Innovation Platform, between RMCs, Technical Assistance Partners (TAPs), Private Sectors and Donors to design and establish an commercial hubs of maize-soybean-livestock production.  These hubs will demonstrate high crop and livestock productivity that is environmentally – in the light of  climate change, socially, and economically sustainable via introduction via adaption of best-bet technologies.  TASI will be rolled out October 2017 with a pilot project in Ghana and set the stage to replicate the experience in seven other African countries, the first phase countries – namely: Guinea, Uganda, Kenya, DRC, CAR, Mozambique, and Zambia.

Why the Side Event?

The primary purpose of the side event is to raise public awareness, especially amongst the donor community, of TASI, and to convene the first meeting of the heads of the institutions that make up the TASI innovation platform, namely: Ghana, WB, EMBRAPA, INTA, CAMPO, AAPRESID, and others.  Another purpose of the event is to highlight the potential of TASI to mitigate the coming impact of climate change on African agriculture and leverage this advantage to raise social impact financing to support the roll-out of TASI.

One of the three pillars of TASI is building a new generation of African farmers.  TASI is one of eight priority areas of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) of the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy. TASI also feeds into reducing malnutrition in Africa through its emphasis on livestock and making high protein food affordable and widely available. Investing in future African farmers (ENABLE Youth), TAAT, and Global Nutrition are programs of the Bank for which side events will be held at WFP 2017

Objectives of the Side Event

The key objectives of this event are:

  • Kick-off TASI through presentations of its strategy a pilot phase in Ghana.
  • Establish an innovation platform for TASI via creation of partnership with RMCs, technical assistance providers, development organizations, private sector etc that will be drive the development of commercial hubs
  • Leverage TASI’s adoption of conservation agriculture in its Hubs to raise awareness amongst social impact equity fudns 

Discussion points

  1. Introduction and adaptation of technologies required to raise productivity of maize, soybean, and livestock in the African Savannah
  2. Financing TASI via public and private investments
  3. Policies support for transformation of the African Savannahs
  4. Setting up an innovation platform to drive the roll-out of TASI
  5. Potential benefits of TASI

Outcome of the Side Events

Outcomes of the side event include:

  1. Raise public awareness, especially amongst the agribusiness donor community, of TASI
  2. To highlight the potential of TASI to mitigate the coming impact of climate change on African agriculture and leverage this advantage to raise social impact financing
  3. Convening of key actors in the Innovation Platform and agreement on the TASI pilot
  4. Begin a discussion around creating a new University curriculum that will create the next generations of farmers that we need to see.

Target Audience 

  • Policy makers/government stakeholders
  • Social impact investors
  • Representatives of institutions that make up the innovation platform
  • Private sector companies already working in the African Savannah
  • Development agencies;
  • Academia/universities;
  • Farmers body representatives; and
  • Youth in agribusiness representatives.

Focal points for the side event

  • Dr Jennifer Blanke, VP Agriculture, Human and Social Development
  • Ms Atsuko Toda, Director, Agricultural Financing and Rural Development
  • Fernando Ledo-Casablanca, immediate past Senior Adviser for Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Austria, and Saudi Arabia at the AfDB
  • Dr. Martin Fregene, Advisor to the Vice President, Agriculture, Social, and Human Development

Estimated number of attendees

This is a public event and we estimate attendance of 80-100 people