Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, March 18, 2024

3rd African Agribusiness Leaders Dialogue (AALD3)

13 March 2024
, Accra – The 3rd African Agribusiness Leaders Dialogue (AALD3), held online and in person in Accra, has highlighted the barrier-breaking role of young African 'agripreneurs' in the agrifood sector.
Hosted by FAO Regional Office for Africa, AALD3 gathered perspectives from the private sector ahead of FAO’s 33rd Session of the Regional Conference for Africa (ARC33) to be held 18-20 April in Rabat, Morocco. ARC33 will bring together Ministers of Agriculture and other relevant portfolios from across Africa to drive agenda-setting in agrifood systems transformation in Africa, and AALD3 will help to bring the private sector perspective to those discussions. In readiness for ARC33, participants at AALD3 developed a private sector declaration that will be presented at the regional conference. It comes after African civil society organisations held a similar dialogue and developed a civil society declaration for ARC33.

Extract of the agenda:

Bridging Finance Gaps" | " Réduire les écarts de financement "

speaker headshotDzifa Amegashie
Head of Corporate & Investor Relations & Partnerships, CalBank PLC
speaker headshotVenan A. Sondo
Executive Director, Chaint Afrique
speaker headshotMaryanne Gichanga
CEO & Co-Founder, AgriTech Analytics Ltd
speaker headshotTenemba Anna Samaké
Chief Executive Officer, MBC Africa
speaker headshotKojo Akoto Boateng
Moderator, Scio Network

Bridging Finance Gaps for Developing Agribusiness

  1. Topic 1: Financing and Empowering the Agrifood Sector Through Innovation
  2. Topic 2: Sustainability and Green Innovations in Agrifood Systems. 
  3. Topic 3: Enhancing Impact Through Complementary Business and Technical Advisory Services.
The event included panel discussions with a range of business leaders, including young trail-blazing entrepreneurs in the agribusiness sector. 
  • Affiong Williams, who runs Nigeria’s largest dried fruit company ReelFruit, said a key to her early success was partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs and learning from others in the region.
  • Sakina Usengimana, who runs Afri-Foods in Rwanda and is chairperson of the Rwanda Youth in Agri-Business Forum (RYAF), raised some of the challenges she faces in operating a cross-border business such as currency conversions, but praised Rwandan authorities for removing some trade barriers and creating a more supporting ecosystem for new agribusinesses. “Removing barriers and creating ecosystem support for young agripreneurs is vital for agribusinesses to flourish,” she said.
  • Dzifa Amegashie from CalBank said women entrepreneurs often face an unconscious bias if they operate in the agribusiness sector, and that her bank has established a ‘women’s desk’ to better support women agripreneurs.
  • Other speakers at the event were Aisata Guiro from Accelerate Africa, Maryanne Gichanga from AgriTech, Tenemba Anna Samaké from MBC Africa and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) West Africa Steering Committee, and Venan Sondo from Chaint Afrique.

The 33rd FAO Regional Conference for Africa 

The 33rd FAO Regional Conference for Africa will put a spotlight on the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031 which encapsulates FAO’s work into the four betters: better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind. The conference theme is Resilient agrifood systems and inclusive rural transformation.

Find out more about the 33rd Regional Conference for Africa

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