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African Development Bank hosts experts to accelerate food transformation in West Africa through technology
The African Development Bank has hosted a group of experts to discuss how technology can be deployed to transform food systems in West Africa.
The Bank co-hosted the workshop with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the African Green Revolution Alliance, the World Economic Forum and Rabobank for the Food Systems Action Platform (FSAP) for West Africa at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on 20-21 June.
More than 70 representatives from multi-lateral organizations attended the two-day session, along with delegates from food companies, African governments, including Togo and Ghana, research institutes, commodity exchanges, processor and producer organizations, and financial institutions.
“Africa is lagging behind in terms of food value chains. Never in the history of the world has there been more technologies, more know-how and other tools at our fingertips,” said Jennifer Blanke, Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development. “How can we all get together to use it to make a difference?”
The FSAP and partners’ workshop agenda centered the relationship between climate resilience and nutrition and how to integrate those factors into food value chains, such as rice, cassava, fruits and vegetables, in West Africa. The event brought the FSAP partner organizations to create a collective base of value chain initiatives, and identify existing turnkey projects and innovative solutions to achieve the platform’s objectives.
“The stakeholders came together to see what they can do as a team and what are the actions that we need to prioritize in terms of bringing the food systems approach forward,” said Bank Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Development Atsuko Toda, who coordinated the workshop.
Workshop participants determined actions to prioritize include: preparing business cases; codifying experiences that can be shared at future conferences like the African Green Revolution Forum, the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly or the Bank’s Africa Investment Forum. Attendees also agreed to establish a leadership work stream that draws knowledge from government, business and other African institutions.
About the Food Systems Action Platform
The Food Systems Action Platform was formed out of a mandate by leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2018. The leaders endorsed the development of a model of cooperation that convenes a consortium of partner organizations, leveraging diverse and complementary competencies to support new and existing value chain initiatives to scale impact.
About the African Development Bank
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. On the ground in 37 African countries, with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.