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“Grow Africa”: a unique model for forging the connections between the public and private sectors

“Grow Africa”: a unique model for forging the connections between the public and private sectors

Grow Africa, co-founded in 2011 by the African Union Commission, NEPAD and the World Economic Forum, and now hosted by the AUDA-NEPAD, has emerged as a proven model for public-private sector collaboration at national and continental level. Grow Africa is an African-owned, country-led, market-based platform for cross-sector collaboration to increase inclusive and responsible investment in African agriculture.  This has a knock-on effect on growth in general across the continent.

Grow Africa, through its Country Agribusiness Partnerships Framework (CAP-F), has proved to be a unique model for forging the connections between the public and private sectors needed to support the growth of the agriculture sector and unlock investment opportunities. 

Here are some of the most prominent examples of Grow Africa’s work in 2018:

Kenya: National Potato Council of Kenya 

Grow Africa has partnered with National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK) to promote the potato value chain. A financial agreement with the council has supported market linkages for over 40,000 potato farmers through an ICT platform known as Viyazi Soko and farmer networking and information exchange forums such as National Potato Conference and County Fairs. 

Benin: Pineapple Multi-stakeholder Platform

Grow Africa and the Pineapple Inter-professional Association of Benin (AIAB) co-convene the Pineapple Multi-stakeholder platform, established in 2017.  A Market Opportunities Study for commercial production of pineapples in Benin was commissioned by Grow Africa and the Sustainable Trade Initiate (IDH) in March 2018. The study evaluated existing markets and trade, and identified potential markets and products for commercialisation, with specific recommendations for unlocking commercialisation and marketing constraints to make the value chain commercially viable. If adequately exploited the study could help the sector to expand its market both regionally and internationally in the medium term, with a target to generate a total of $213 million and create 3500 new jobs by 2025.  

Cote d’Ivoire: Rice Multi-stakeholder Platform

Currently, under 50% of Ivory Coast’s domestic demand for rice is imported, despite ideal climatic conditions for growing the commodity. Grow Africa and Office National de Development de la Riziculture en Côte d'Ivoire (ONDR) co-convene the national rice multi-stakeholder platform, established in 2017, with ONDR serving as the platform Secretariat. In July, 2018 Grow Africa signed a Financial Agreement with ONDR for organisational development activities to be carried out till March 2019. Activities supported include private sector engagement and generation of investment pipelines in rice, thematic group workshops and showcasing of market opportunities within the rice value chain. This Grow Africa initiative in Côte d’Ivoire is part of a global programme to attain rice self-sufficiency in the ECOWAS region by 2025. 

Ghana: Industrial Cassava Stakeholders Platform

Grow Africa and IDH have provided financial support provision to the Ghana Industrial Cassava Stakeholders Platform (GISCP). GICSP has developed a 3 year Strategy that addresses Finance, Marketing, Policy and Research, Technical Innovation, and Stakeholder Management issues. GICSP has also successfully advanced its policy advocacy work for High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) as a key ingredient in the food processing industry.

Malawi: Commercial Agriculture Support Services 

Established in 2017, the Commercial Agriculture Support Services (CASS) promotes dialogue with government on development of various strategic value chains and works to support access to finance, land water, inputs and associated basic infrastructure. Grow Africa has supported institutional strengthening activities under CASS through a one year grant. The grant has supported the platform to develop its Strategy, recruit a platform coordinator and undertake public-private policy dialogue sessions. 

Rwanda: Rwanda Horticulture Working Group (RHWG)

Grow Africa maintained partnership with the Rwanda Horticulture Working Group (RHWG), a multi-stakeholder platform working to improve stakeholder coordination in the horticulture value chain. In partnership with IDH a proposal was developed an to strengthen RHWG’s organizational capacities, private sector engagement, business partnerships development, multi-stakeholder dialogue, and M&E. Funding has been secured and formalisation of the grant is underway, with anticipated activation of activities early 2019.

Outlook for 2019

Grow Africa will continue to support the CAADP process through domestication of the Country Agribusiness Partnership Framework in 2019, reaching a total of 15 countries. New countries to be engaged in 2019 include Sudan, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, South Africa, and Sierra Leonne. Specific priorities include:

  • Establishment of functional CAP-F’s in 15 African Union member states
  • Support at least 15 Multi-stakeholder platforms to effectively undertake policy engagement/dialogue in priority value chains
  • Establish the Grow Africa Business Council - a CEO level private sector agriculture investment advisory panel for African Heads of State and high-level African policy makers, offering private sector leadership and strategic advice on a range of agribusiness related development challenges
  • Promote the following value chains reflected as priorities in countries of engagement - Rice, Cassava, Potato, Oil seeds, Mango and Pineapple. Further value chains to be identified in new countries of engagement