Last week, from the 5th to the 8th of September, our Lending Manager for the East African region was in attendance at the Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF), an annual summit which was hosted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this year. The theme for 2023 was ‘Recover, Regenerate, Act’ and focused on building back better food systems and food sovereignty with youth and women at the heart of the solution.
The Forum's focus now extends beyond the annual summit to promote discussion and action on pivotal decisions on food systems and food security year round. The goal of the AGRF is to foster continuous stakeholder engagement throughout the year in measures of action and policies that are crucial for achieving the African continent’s food security objectives.
“The Summit was interesting and a great opportunity to connect with other stakeholders within the agri-sector in Africa. I particularly liked the Deal Room which focuses on connecting SMEs and potential investors / financiers. The investor pitches by Government agencies also give participants a good idea in the investment atmosphere in the respective countries in addition to the incentives offered to potential investors.”
Increasing the Impact of Technical Assistance
The effectivity of technical assistance was also explored within the context of funding sources. It was observed that, whereby technical assistance was paid for entirely by an external funder, output was low. However, when both external funder and the SME paid for technical assistance, the output is high, and this can be credited to a higher degree of commitment and interest of the SME to follow through procedures.
To find out more about the Africa Food Systems Forum and this year's summit, please visit the AGRF website here.