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Africa Agricultural Policy Leadership Dialogue

The Africa Agricultural Policy Leadership Dialogue (AALPD) will focus on African agri-food policy actions considering the growing global economic integration of its agri-food systems. The two-day event will convene senior leaders from government, the development community, and the private sector to promote a dialogue on the agri-food policy agenda that aims to increase investment and technical assistance support for the Continent. Leaders will share relevant experiences and showcase innovative practices. Agriculture policy research institutions will share evidence on reform impacts, and agribusiness leaders will discuss reforms needed to increase private sector financing. The AAPLD will facilitate the discussion of policy reforms which would unlock investment financing opportunities for the transformation of African food systems through three strategic Pillars (Incentives, Innovation, and Investments) for improved food security, resilience, and jobs.

It will help foster agri-food-based economic growth and job creation while crisis-proofing national and regional food supply chains. It will inspire discussion on the next generation of African Union Commission and national sector policies for the post-2025 Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) agenda.

Africa’s agri-food sector plays a central role in economic transformation as a source of employment, income, and fiscal resources – all essential in fueling broader economic growth. After decades of stagnation, Africa is home to the fastest-growing agricultural economy globally. Over the past two decades (2000-20), it witnessed a 4.1% growth compared to 2.7% worldwide, 3.5% in East Asia and Pacific, 3.0% in South Asia, and 2.6% in Latin America and the Caribbean. Key drivers of this growth are (a) urban demand for higher-value foods and the related emergence of medium-sized investor farmers; (b) increasing job creation, especially in downstream segments of food value chains; (c) improved access to land, markets, and services; and (d) increasing use of modern farming inputs and digital technologies. The continent is projected to become a $1 trillion food market by 2030. The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) holds significant potential for economic integration and growth: the expected elimination of tariff barriers alone would increase gross agri-food exports among member countries by 3.7%.

The COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have revealed the vulnerability of global food systems, including Africa’s. African governments have responded to these global economic challenges with short-term measures, but at the risk of crowding out or delaying much needed structural reforms to address longer-term challenges of climate change and conflict across the region. As climate adaption and mitigation challenges facing food systems in Africa increasingly interact with development aspirations of economic growth and job creation, there is a need for Africa’s nations to devise improved national and regional agri-food policy responses.

Source: The World Bank