African Green Revolution Forum 2019: Grow Digital
The theme of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF 2019), which brought together some 2 400 key stakeholders on 3-6 September in Accra, focused on using digital information and tools to support sustainable food systems in Africa. With the facilitation of USAID, the SWAC Secretariat presented the Africapolis database and key findings from its work on urbanisation. This 9th edition of the AGRF emphasised that “co-ordinated efforts of public and private sector actors can unlock the potential of advances in everything from big data to block chain systems, drones, robotics, and machine learning platforms.” Digital technologies can help address major barriers and help people across the continent to tap into agriculture’s potential and provide new economic opportunities. Ghanaian President Nana Akufo‑Addo noted that AGRF 2019 was an essential opportunity to ensure agriculture is a top priority on every country’s development agendas. The forum saw the launch of a new Africa Regional Food Trade Coalition, building on the established African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The coalition aims to increase regional food trade via policies and mechanisms that encourage new agribusiness investments. Moreover, IFPRI launched the Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor 2019, which examines the effectiveness of efforts to increase regional trade integration and intra-African trade. The SWAC Secretariat promoted Africapolis, a tool for understanding urbanisation dynamics in Africa. The database helps improve the design of territorial and regional integration policies. It also explored opportunities for further collaboration on urbanisation dynamics in Ghana, notably within the UrbAfrica network. The 2020 edition of the Forum will be held in Kigali, Rwanda.