ACCRA, Ghana: September 3, 2019: More than 2300 delegates have gathered in Accra, Ghana for the 10th edition of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) which runs from 3-6 September.
The AGRF is the world’s premier platform for dialogue and action on various topics around the future of African agriculture. Ghana is the first country to host the event twice, after the successful inaugural edition of 2010.
This year, H.E. Nana Addo Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, and his peers from around the world will shape the discourse around the theme Grow Digital: Leveraging digital transformation to drive sustainable food systems in Africa.
The Digitalisation of African Agriculture 2018-2019 Report by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) will act as the main knowledge product guiding the development of this year’s theme.
The Report is a comprehensive analysis of digital agricultural (D4Ag) prospects in sub-Saharan Africa and defines the policy and infrastructural investments required for an unprecedented takeoff to agro-economic empowerment.
H.E. President Akufo-Addo will set the pace for the Forum in a presidential summit featuring H.E. Faure Essozimna Gnassaingbe, President of Togo; H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Nige, President of Cote d’Ivoire; H.E. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria; and Rt. Hon. Edouard Ngirente, Prime Minister of Rwanda.
Each of the leaders will share their experiences in capturing the gains of the digital era to improve food systems, increase adaptation, and drive innovation to achieve the goals laid out in the Malabo Declaration (2014) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030.
A rigorous and informative series of technical assessments, policy analyses, and political discussions will pursue a new level of consensus that could dramatically accelerate efforts to make farming in Africa more productive, profitable, sustainable and inclusive.
Subsequent talks and workshops, featuring ministers, heads of international agencies and CEOs of global, regional and national business companies within and outside Africa, will explore the bid for an agricultural revolution driven by the active involvement of the continent’s farmers in implementing digital technologies in their enterprises.
Already, the unprecedented growth and adoption of digital innovations in Africa has played a major in ushering in an era of disruption and systems overhaul, knowledge economies and big agri-data.
Mobile-based technologies are an integral part of life in most parts of Africa with more than 44% of sub-Saharan Africans on mobile phone subscriptions.
It is projected that there will be 634 million unique mobile subscribers across Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025, covering over 50% of the population.
In relation, mobile-based technologies are now gaining prominence across the continent, where evidence now exists of farmers embracing smart agriculture and other forms of digital technologies in their practice. The advent of even newer technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, remote sensing, robotics and big data makes the future much more exciting.
Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, one of the AGRF’s main conveners, says the full potential of digital innovations can only be derived from investment in research and development by all players in the food value chains.
“Digital technologies are now firmly with us and it is increasingly important that we keep finding use of such innovations in our farms. Going forward, digitalization will transcend every sphere of our life and it is highly likely that most of our farming investments will gain more yields as a result,” Dr. Kalibata said.
“Overall, with more innovation, farmer-centric products and services can now be deployed with great succe