Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, June 21, 2021

Fourth African Union (AU) – European Union (EU) agriculture ministerial conference

22 June 2021.  The fourth African Union (AU) – European Union (EU) agricultural ministerial conference, co-hosted by the African Union Commission and the European Commission.

The conference, which is taking place under Portugal’s EU Council Presidency, follows previous conferences:

The 2017 conference advanced a number of concrete deliverables that fed into the fifth AU-EU summit of November 2017 (held in in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire), while at the 2019 conference, AU and EU member states endorsed a Political Declaration and Action Agenda for the transformation of rural Africa.

The conclusions of the Conference and all the presentations are available on the Ministerial Conference webpage.

Four high-level thematic sessions

1. Investment opportunities and challenges for local producers and the competitiveness of the agri-food sector

Concept note for the panel on agricultural investment (2 pp.)
While agricultural value chains remain the focus of considerable attention, at both the policy level and through promotion of sustainable public and private sector investments, it will be their capacity to improve social, economic and environmental sustainability, which determines their contribution to Africa’s Agenda 2063, the CAADP targets, the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
  • CHAIR: Ms Graziella Romito, Director at Ministry of Agriculture of Italy, G20 Chair of Agriculture Deputies
  • MODERATOR: Leonard Mizzi, Head of Unit INTPA.F.3, Sustainable Agri-Food Systems and Fisheries.
  • Jennifer Susan Chiriga, Chief of Staff of AUDA-NEPAD -  Opportunities and challenges to invest in Africa
  • James Tefft, Senior Economist, FAO Investment Centre - Catalyzing the sustainable and inclusive transformation of food systems
  • Gilles Boumeester, Africa Project Lead, Rabobank - A finance for sustainable agrifood systems
  • Dimitri Van Raemdonk, Fund Manager, EDFI AgriFI
  • Bagoré Bathily, Founder, Laiterie du Berger -  Sustainable investment to enhance local production
Webstreaming of the Thematic Panel:

2. Agriculture research and innovation for soil health, agro-ecology and other innovative approaches

Concept note for the panel on agricultural research and innovation (2 pp.)
In November 2019, the Pan-African Network for economic Analysis of Policies (PANAP) was launched. PANAP is a network among African academic/research and institutional partners collaborating with the European Commission Joint Research Centre to build research capacity on agricultural economics and policy issues with a focus on Africa. In March 2020, the European Commission published the Communication ‘Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa’ including a focus on stepped up cooperation in R&I with Africa.
  • CHAIR: Issa Barro, Counsellor to the Minister of Agriculture of Senegal
  • MODERATOR: Juan Lucas Restrepo, DG of CIAT-Bioversity alliance
  • Annick Sezibera, Confédération des Associations des Producteurs Agricoles pour le Développement (CAPAD) -  Agroecology as a sustainable green business
  • Beatrice Egulu (AUC-DARBE), Giampiero Genovese, (EC-JRC): Pan African Network for the economic Analysis of Policies (PANAP) - an African Network for the economic Analysis of Policies
  • Tony Siantionas, Director Scaling Positive Agriculture, World Business Council for Sustainable Development WBCSD -  Strengthening the engagement of the private sector towards agroecology
  • Daniel Nahon, Emeritus professor, founder and director of CEREGE - The Silicon Valley of the Green Transition
  • Samuel Rigu, CEO, Safi Organics - Decentralized fertilizer production in local communities
  • H.E. Martin Heydon, Minister of State of Ireland, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Webstreaming of the Thematic Panel:

3. Use of digital solutions in agriculture to combat diseases and to strengthen rural communities

Concept note for the panel on digital solutions in agriculture and plant and animal health (2 pp.)
The discussion during this panel will focus upon the use of digital solutions in agriculture for combating diseases and strengthening rural African communities. It will take stock of the existing challenges and explore present and future opportunities for collaboration and investment in E-agriculture.
  • CHAIR: H.E. Elsayed Elkosayar, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt
  • MODERATOR: Tassos Haniotis, Acting Deputy-Director General, European Commission, DG Agriculture
  • Jeremy Knops, General Delegate, COLEACP - Adjusting to the EU market requirements to unlock the agri-food potential in Africa
  • Sarah De Saeger & Marthe De Boevre, MYTOX-SOUTH coordinators, Ghent University, Belgium - Current status of food safety big data in Europe & Africa
  • Alan Belward, European Commission, Joint Research Centre JRC -  Scientific evidence and knowledge to reduce food losses and improve food safety
  • Nnaemeka C. Ikegwuonu, CEO, ColdHub Nigeria - ColdHubs; digitalized solar-powered infrastructure to reduce food spoilage and make safe nutritious food available for consumption
  • Ishmael Sunga, CEO, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU)
Webstreaming of the Thematic Panel:

4. Regional trade integration for increased consumer access to safe food, improved food security and enhanced value chains

Concept note for the panel on regional trade integration (3 pp.)
The EU is supporting the AfCFTA through the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), whose role as “building blocks” is consistent with the AfCFTA’s drive for greater economic integration and fit into a reform agenda where partner countries put in place the necessary policies and measures that enable business and farmers to create wealth and improve livelihoods. Within the AfCFTA support, the EU is also collaborating with the AU on the programme for Strengthening Sanitary and Phytosanitary Systems for Africa (SPS Africa) and the Africa Intellectual Property (AfrIP) project with a focus on protecting Geographic Indications in Africa. 
  • CHAIR : H.E. Fernando Miranda Sotillos, Secretary General for Agriculture and Food, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Spain
  • MODERATOR: John Clarke, Director, European Commission, DG Agriculture
  • Estherine Fotabong, Director, AUDA-NEPAD - The AfCFTA and the other international agreements 
  • Jemimah Njuki, Director for Africa, IFPRI - Intra-Africa trade
  • H.E. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture of Rwanda - The role of regional integration and Africa’s economic transformation
  • Ahmed M. El Wakil, President, ASCAME (Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry)
Webstreaming of the Thematic Panel:


Setting the scene 14.00 – 14.20 (CEST)

  • H.E. Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment
  • H.E. Maria do Céu Antunes, Minister of Agriculture of Portugal


  1. Ms Graziella Romito, Director at Ministry of Agriculture of Italy, G20 Chair of Agriculture Deputies
  2. H.E. Moussa Balde, Minister of Agriculture of Senegal
  3. H.E. Elsayed Elkosayar, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt Minister of Agriculture of Egypt
  4. H.E. Luis Planas Puchades, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Spain


  • Ms Elizabeth Nsimadala, President of the Pan Africa farmers Organization PAFO
  • Mr Ramon Armengol, President of the General Confederation of EU Agricultural Cooperatives


  • H.E. Angela Thoko Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development of South Africa
  • H.E. Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture
Webstreaming of the Plenary Session:

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