Dr Ousmane Badiane presenting the MaMo Panel study.
Photo: GIZ/Jakob


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Reduced drudgery, timely handling, higher productivity – there are many reasons that speak in favour of mechanising African agriculture. But some aspects point to the contrary. In Berlin, participants discussed opportunities and risks at the ‘Innovation Dialogue on the Future of Rural Areas in Africa’.

Seventy per cent of Africa’s population are employed in agriculture, although they only supply 20 per cent of the continent’s net product. At the same time, an estimated 750 million Africans will be under the age of 18 years by 2030. These young people need job prospects. Here, the agricultural and food sector holds a big potential – provided that it can become more productive, and hence more attractive, for example through mechanisation. But doesn’t mechanisation tend to be more of a job killer than a job creator? Along with other preconditions for successful mechanisation, this was a topic discussed by representatives from science, business and development co-operation at the invitation of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Malabo Montpellier Panel in Berlin, Germany, in late February 2018.

Success factors

Ousmane Badiane, Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Centre (IFPRI) and Co-Chair of the Malabo-Montpellier Panel, presented the results of a study conducted by the Panel on the state of mechanisation in Africa.

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