Africa Food Systems Forum 2023
At the Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from the 5th–8th September 2023, participants called to scale up existing solutions to accelerate food systems transformation.
The summit’s theme, “Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation”, focuses on building back better food systems and food sovereignty with youth and women at the centre. The theme identifies three steps needed to achieve this transformation: Recovery, Regenerate, and Act. More than 5,400 delegates, 5 heads of state and 30 ministers from 90 countries participated in the Africa Food Systems Forum.
Speakers at the Forum called for bold thought and leadership to accelerate action towards translating food systems pathways and commitments into actionable strategies, particularly to address climate. During the four-day Forum, various institutions made commitments to accelerate investments in youth and women, and to build a better tomorrow.
Discussions held at the Forum illustrated that collaboration remains the beacon of progress. They reinforced that partnerships among governments, businesses, civil society, farmers’ organisations and research institutions will shape a future where sustainable and prosperous food systems determine Africa’s progress.
Food sovereignty and resilience
On the sidelines of the summit, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) hosted a food sovereignty and resilience event. This follows the Dakar 2 Food Summit held in Dakar, Senegal, early this year.
The session brought together ministers of agriculture from several African countries, including Tanzania, Sierra Leone, the Gambia and Guinea Bissau, development partners and private-sector operatives. They discussed the implementation progress and outcomes of the Dakar 2 Summit in their respective countries.
Tanzania’s Agriculture Minister, Hussein Mohamed Bashe, highlighted key actions that Tanzania had taken to accelerate food production and systems. This included the creation of the Presidential Delivery Council, the establishment of the Agricultural Transformation Office and Agriculture Delivery Unit, and a Build a Better Tomorrow Initiative that promotes and supports youth informing and agriculture.
The Gambia and Sierra Leone also highlighted systemic and structural developments in rice, cassava and livestock value chains.
Private-sector and development partners from CGIAR, the World Bank and IFAD emphasised the critical roles of the private sector, science, integrated public policies and political will in delivering on Africa’s food security and resilience.