May 24, 2024

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Rwanda to host next Africa agricultural tech conference

Rwanda will host the second edition of African Conference on Agricultural Technologies (ACAT) in its capital Kigali, in May 2025, according to the event organisers.

This was announced on November 2, as part of the communique issued at the closure the first ACAT conference held in Nairobi, Kenya.

It is organised by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) with the support from partners.

The inaugural conference was held under the theme “Agricultural Resilience through Innovation” and provided a platform for relevant conversations on how to reposition the development and scaling of agricultural technologies and innovations to drive economic growth and development in Africa, its organisers said.

In the communique, ACAT participants made calls for action including to endorse the recognition and adoption of ACAT as the continent-wide biennial forum that will showcase emerging technologies and innovations, promote networking and shared learning, and unlock access to technology and its delivery.

They committed to sustaining engagement on agricultural technology in between ACAT editions through organising and engaging in Strategic Dialogues in Agricultural Technology in Africa (SDATA) to foster discussions within and across strategic groups, namely the youth, ministers, researchers, the private sector, and farmers.

They also urged Africa Union (AU) member states, regional economic communities, and other key stakeholders to nurture political will to drive technological advancement in the agricultural sector towards food self-sufficiency and intensified intra-Africa trade in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area -AfCFTA.

“The importance of creating a functional enabling environment and sufficient incentives to facilitate research, development and commercialisation of agricultural innovations and establishment of a functional private sector can’t be overemphasised,” observed Canisius Kanangire, the Executive Director, of AATF.

Kanangire called for the need to build farmer resilience in Africa, considering that agricultural production and food systems in the continent are highly vulnerable to climate change, pests, and diseases.

ACAT 2023 brought together over 500 stakeholders ranging from government representatives, agro-industry thought leaders, policymakers, technical experts, private institutions, farmers, women, and youth to share ideas on how to move forward African agriculture.

“Africa is a continent of immense potential. We know that on average, up to 35 per cent of the continent’s gross domestic product is derived from agriculture. Agriculture as a sector also accounts for the livelihood of more than 50 per cent of the continent’s population,” said Goodluck Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in his closing remarks.

Source: THE NEW TIMES

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