Improving the African Agriculture Business Climate at the EU-Africa Business Forum

Business leaders, ministers of finance and agriculture, investors, innovative start-ups and young women entrepreneurs met at the Agribusiness session during the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum which took place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on 27 November 2017.

The 6th EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF) takes place just ahead of the 5th Africa Union – European Union Summit (29 & 30 November) in Abidjan. Business involvement is crucial to eradicate poverty and ensure sustainable development in Africa, as aid alone will not be enough.

Agriculture continues to occupy a key role for poverty alleviation on the African continent – and it is increasingly clear that private investment will be essential in the promotion of sustainable agricultural growth. Nevertheless, private investments in agriculture continue to face many obstacles, and such investments are generally seen as high-risk.

Speaking at the sessions’ panel discussion, NEPAD Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, presented the Country Agribusiness Partnership (CAP) Framework, Grow Africa’s newly launched tool to support country flagship Agribusiness Partnerships. It funds effective mutually accountability partnerships and generates a roster of cross-sector commitments for investment and policy change.

CAP-F responds to the Agenda 2063 agribusiness ambitions to (i) increase the share of indigenous private sector contribution to the continent’s GDP to not less than 50%; (ii) achieve a threshold of at least 90% of agricultural cash crops produced on the continent to be processed locally and the Malabo Declaration commitment to enhance investment finance in Agriculture, boosting intra African trade, ending hunger and halving poverty by 2025.

The Forum in Abidjan concludes a series of business-related events held in Africa and Europe in the course of 2017 that highlighted the importance of investment, job creation and public-private dialogue for achieving sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa. The EABF is vital for creating the appropriate forum for knowledge sharing that will form the basis and impetus for reinvigorating Africa’s business and creating opportunities for investment in the long term.

With its overarching theme of "Investing in Job Creation for Youth", the Forum looked at the challenges and opportunities for investment in Africa in line with strategic priorities, such as the digital economy, agriculture & agribusiness and renewable energy. It also aimed to provide solutions, particularly for the growing number of youth and women entrepreneurs. Through high level panel discussions, solutions sessions and investment pitches, the private sector showcased its commitment for sharing the role with the public sector in the implementation of the global sustainable development goals.