A smallholder farmer harvesting maize on her farm in Mulingana (Ndithini) area, Machakos county, Kenya.
Photo: ©IFAD/Isaiah Muthui

Transforming African agriculture

A new initiative aims to enable successful execution of strategic agricultural interventions to transform African agriculture. It comes as worrying downward spiral trends of poverty and hunger erase years of steady progress.

As the current crises and disruption in food networks lay bare most African countries’ dependence on food imports, it has become critical to transform the agriculture sector in order to lift vulnerable rural people out of poverty and hunger, according to the African Agricultural Transformation Initiative (AATI).

The AATI was officially launched in July 2022, following the appointment of its Executive Director, Safia Boly, who subsequently engaged with the various Country Support Teams established as part of the preliminary structure of the AATI. Now, the initiative has started cooperating with government officials and various stakeholders in the candidate countries, beginning with Malawi, the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) reported.

Improving sustainable development in Africa

Endowed with a budget of USD 19.6 million until 2025, AATI is dedicated to improving sustainable development in Africa by bridging the gap between the formulation of strategic agricultural initiatives and their successful implementation at local level.

Speeding up and strengthening that implementation will have a pronounced impact on improving food security, reducing rural poverty and helping small-scale farmers adapt to climate change.

“Given the scale of the rural economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and its enormous potential, we believe that inclusive agricultural transformation is the most effective way to drive sustainable development,” said Safia Boly, Executive Director of AATI. “AATI will provide support through tailored strategies that will ultimately allow them to realise their full agricultural potential,” added Boly.

Building on the experience of African countries

AATI is currently launching its first wave covering four countries (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Senegal) to accelerate effective and sustainable changes in their food systems, based on their needs, priorities and existing infrastructure.

The initiative will roll out learnings and extend support to other African countries and seeks to collaborate with additional partners, making the most of the knowledge generated from key stakeholders.

AATI builds on the experience of several African countries in recent years, including national agricultural transformation agencies, bringing together governments, private sector and civil society to overcome key challenges and help replicate successful delivery mechanisms for agricultural transformations.

This initiative is born as a result of the close collaboration among the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm providing pro bono support. AATI’s central office will be hosted by IFAD.


Read more at IFAD website

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