The New York Forum AFRICA 2014 focused on transformation: unlocking the competitiveness of the African economy through building value chains around the transformation of the continent’s natural resources, including its human capital. In knowledge economies, such as those in the western world, education is the foundation of economic competitiveness and global prosperity – and is inseparable from the development of human capital.
Moussa is a renowned expert in the field of agricultural science and planning. He is the architect for Senegal’s national policy on agriculture, known as “Senegal Agricole” a Comprehensive Multisectorial Rural Development Program. In the late 1990s he created Agraria Africa, a concept for developing agriculture on a Pan African scale, based on the geophysical and climatic specificities of the African continent. Moussa is also President of Agrina Senegal, an organic, highly mechanised irrigated agribusiness farm that he founded in 1996. He is the Chairman of PanAAC, the Pan-African Agriculture and Agribusiness Consortium, a platform intended to mobilize and engage the private sector involved in the African Agribusiness and Agro-industry value chain. Moussa was recently appointed as the Chairman of Lead Africa, a leadership-training program for Anglophone and Francophone Africa. He has acted as a consultant on agricultural policy to FAO, UNDP, World Bank, and the Swiss Government. Moussa managed the SYSPRO think-tank of ENDA, the international environmental and development organisation for 20 years since its formation in 1986. He built SYSPRO into one of Africa’s most highly respected think-tanks. Moussa graduated from the University of Minnesota Borlaug Hall, USA and the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II in Morocco.
Frank Braeken is the Chief Investment Officer of Amatheon Agri Holding, a Berlin-based company committed to building a leading Agro Foods company operating across Africa. He has an FMCG background - a true global operator. After an early stint with P and G, Frank spent 26 years with Unilever, living and working in nine countries on four continents. His last role up to 2013 was Executive Vice President for the Africa region, with overall responsibility for its €2.5bln operations. Prior roles include Business Group President for the China Region, Managing Director of Unilever Foods France, and Chairman of Unilever Andina. After obtaining a law and MBA degree, his early career began in finance. His industries expertise lies in FMCG and African agriculture. His specific operational expertise is in developing markets sales and distribution strategies and systems, FMCG value chain analysis, multi-tier brand strategies for straddling the income pyramid, and talent and organisational strategies that cater to fast growing, developing organisations.
The New York Forum AFRICA was organized around a number of major debates that examine the key economic and business issues for Africa today. One panel discussed agriculture around the theme: DYNAMIC AGRICULTURE MARKETS: A PIPE DREAM OR A GRAIN OF TRUTH?TRANSFORMING THE LAND FOR AGRICULTURE:
The African vision for agriculture has been laid out as follows: dynamic markets within regions and countries, and farmers active in the market economy, while the continent becomes a net exporter of agricultural projects. Following from this would be a fairer distribution of wealth for rural populations, and environmentally sound agricultural production and sustainable land management.
Is this an agricultural pipe dream – or is Africa close to achieving this? Are government, the private sector and the farmers delivering – and are they accountable?
- How do we build value-added sectors to keep more revenues at home?
- How do we integrate and support small farmers?
- What can be done to protect from price hikes, and against environmental disasters?
- How do we increase capacity and storage of water?
- What needs to be done to improve access to market (financial and infrastructure/transport)?
- Can we ensure food security?
Pan African Agribusiness and Agro-Industry Consortium
Chief Investment Officer
Amatheon Agri Holding N.V.