The African Green Revolution Forum that has been running from 5th September and will end on 9th September attracted major players in the region with Presidents Paul Kagame and Uhuru Kenyata present. The forum prides itself in laying foundations for a renaissance in Africa’s agriculture, one powered by the enormous progress increasingly evident in farmers who are gaining more options in the seeds they plant, in the fertilizers they use, and in the markets available to purchase their produce. For 2016 they are looking to advance the policies and secure the investments that will ensure a better life for millions of Africa’s farmers and families—and realize the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda who was one of the panelists today, along with President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyata, called for action beyond words, he noted “Lets stop talking a lot about things & just do them. Lets do more action and less speeches” His counterpart President Uhuru noted that the government of Kenya has committed USD 200million over the next five years to support the agricultural sector. “We need our youth to practice Agriculture in new ways where it’s a viable business” the president said.
The forum that is hosting agricultural experts from all over Africa is themed ‘Seize the moment: Securing Africa’s Rise Through Agricultural Transformation’ and had leaders saying that agriculture should be put in the center stage of transforming the continent’s economic path and that it was a defining moment for Africa to rewrite the agricultural story.
According to a World Bank report released early this year, the East African region has a very high rate of youth unemployment with Kenya topping that list: one in five Kenyan youths of working age has no job, and one in twenty for Uganda and Tanzania. Youth are trained for (and desire) the non-existent white collar jobs instead of the more technical income projects like agriculture. With such statistics one can only hope that the youth are hearing the message and will look to agriculture for the betterment of their individual lives and consequently for the continent’s good.
The forum is taking place at the UN Complex in Nairobi, Kenya with its partners being African Development Bank, KCB, OCP Africa, The Rockefeller Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and World Food Programme. It was officially opened by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyata.