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African Development Bank’s appreciation of the work of the Pan-African Farmers’ Organization
Kigali, Rwanda, 29th July, 2019: The 4th General Assembly of the Pan-African Farmers’ Organization PAFO, which took place in Kigali, Rwanda on 23 July 2019, brought together some 50 delegates, including representatives from PAFO’s regional bodies, to discuss the continental platform, as well as institutional, organizational and partnership challenges.
A special session of PAFO’s partners (the Bank, the EU, IFAD, FO4ACP, and AgriCord) was held to reflect on how best to engage with civil society and especially small-holder farmers, the backbone of most African economies.
On behalf of the Bank, Maria Mulindi, Director of special programmes, conveyed the Bank’s deep appreciation of PAFO as an important stakeholder in delivering the goals of the Feed Africa Strategy. As a member of the Bank’s Civil Society Committee, and of the Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanism (AFFM) governing council, PAFO also took part in the development of the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy in Dakar in 2017. Mulindi also suggested some areas for future engagement within the agricultural value chain, including: the 4 million euro trade credit guarantee to importers, distributors and agro dealers in Nigeria and Tanzania to be issued by the African Fertiliser Financing Mechanism; the “Technology for African Agricultural Transformation” programme developed by the Bank and to be implemented in 31 low-income countries on the continent; and Bank plans to create special agro-industrial processing zones in order to turn unproductive rural areas into economic zones of prosperity and lay the foundations for agro-industrialization.
“The Bank believes that agriculture in Africa must make the shift from being treated simply as a social sector for managing poverty or for piloting development projects to a business that creates wealth, transforms livelihoods and is an attractive, popular and sustainable economic activity”, concluded Mulindi.
Before the conclusion of the assembly, Fatma Ben Rejeb, one of the ADF 15 social mobilisation campaigners, voiced PAFO’s support for a strong and successful African Development Fund replenishment, and Elisabeth Nsimandala, previously regional president for Eastern Africa was appointed as PAFO’s President.