The 2023 edition of Africa’s Food System Forum (AGRF), the continent’s premier platform for advancing the agriculture and food systems agenda, was launched by Tanzanian president Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan.
The forum’s theme for this year, “Recover, regenerate, act: Africa’s solutions to food systems transformation”, is aimed at building back better food systems and food sovereignty. It will focus on the role of women and youth in the agriculture sector and will re-energise their commitment to the food systems conversation.
The event will highlight the need to regenerate the natural resources essential for sustainable food production and take urgent action to address food systems challenges such as climate change, food waste, and food insecurity.
Speaking at the launch in Dar es Salaam, Hassan highlighted the role of youth and women as critical to Africa’s food systems agenda. She stressed the importance of prioritising the agriculture sector to create livelihoods for the people of Tanzania.
The president called on the international community, partners of Africa’s Food Systems Forum, the private sector, and development partners to participate fully in the upcoming forum to strengthen food systems in Africa.
In his remarks, the chairperson of the forum, Hailemariam Dessalegn, called for innovation, partnership, leadership, and home-grown solutions to respond to emergent agricultural and food systems challenges. He emphasised the importance of moving beyond planning to curb food insecurity and executing and actualising commitments.
The Africa Food Systems Forum will take place from 5 to 8 September in Dar es Salaam with a pre-summit event scheduled for 4 September. The summit will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including leaders, policymakers, scientists, heads of governments and private institutions, farmers, and youth, to agree on practical actions and solutions.
The forum’s launch has been met with enthusiasm from stakeholders, who believe it presents a unique opportunity to tackle the food insecurity challenges facing the African continent. Dr Agnes Kalibata, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), says: “The Africa Food System Forum presents a unique opportunity to reflect on Africa’s progress in transforming its food systems and charting a way forward to build more resilient, inclusive and sustainable food systems.”
The African Union Commission has also pledged its support for the event. The commissioner for rural economy and agriculture, Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, said, “The African Union Commission is committed to supporting the Africa Food System Forum to provide a platform for discussions that will address food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty eradication.”
The Africa Food System Forum 2023 is set to be a landmark event, with discussions on practical actions and solutions to drive the continent’s food security forward and create better livelihoods for all. It will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders and provide a platform for innovative ideas and home-grown solutions to respond to emergent agricultural and food systems challenges.