How to Make the Green Revolution A Reality in Africa


The seventh African Green Revolution Forum, will be taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 4-8 September 2017. Ms. Jennifer Blanke is the keynote speaker for the symposium titled “Geospatial Development Models.”

By Jennifer Blanke (AfDB)

Jennifer Blanke is the Vice-President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the African Development Bank (AfDB).

In this interview, she speaks on the seventh African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 4-8 September 2017; how to mitigate the impact of climate change on agriculture; the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy, and other key issues.

What are the goals of the AGRF-AfDB Partnership?

The African Development Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy is to transform African agriculture over the next decade into a competitive and inclusive agribusiness sector that creates wealth, improves lives and secures the environment.  The goals of Feed Africa are to help eliminate extreme poverty in Africa by 2025; end hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025; make Africa a net food exporter; and move Africa to the top of export-orientated global value chains where it has comparative advantage.

For its part, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) focuses on catalyzing smallholder farmer productivity to unleash agricultural transformation by using an integrated value chain approach, with an emphasis on staple crops.

AGRF is a multi-stakeholder partnership effort led and coordinated by AGRA. Its primary objective is to foster public-private partnerships and drive sustainable agricultural productivity as a catalyst for enhancing long-term food and nutrition security, and ultimately, broad-based economic growth for Africa. AGRF is thus a vehicle for unlocking the full potential of agriculture as a driver of economic growth and stability for Africa and transforming smallholder farms into productive and profitable businesses.

Both the Bank and AGRA focus on fostering agriculture as a vehicle for inclusive and sustainable economic transformation in Africa, and eradicating poverty and hunger. To this end, since 2010 when the first AGRF was held in Accra, Ghana, the Bank has participated in all of the meetings: Tanzania, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Zambia, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire.

The AGRF continues to serve as a vital medium for exchange aimed at unlocking the full potential of Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness to help drive growth and standards of living and transform smallholder farms into productive and profitable businesses.

How does the African Green Revolution Forum event align with the African Development Bank’s High 5s?

Since the primary objective of AGRF is to foster public-private partnerships and drive sustainable agricultural productivity, as a catalyst for enhancing long-term food and nutrition security, and ultimately, broad-based economic growth for Africa, there is strong alignment between the Forum and the African Development Bank’s High 5s.

The Bank’s blueprint of operational priority areas, referred to as the High 5s also constitute its vision for African economic transformation.  Launched in June 2016, these are to: Light up and Power Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, Feed Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.  Two of the High 5s- Feed Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa- are fully aligned with the purpose and activities of the AGRF.

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