Following the completion of the first report, we began the development of the second African Transformation Report focused on agricultural transformation. The objective is to offer critical analysis, best practices and policy recommendations to modernize agriculture and make it a key driver of income growth and poverty reduction through agro-processing. On October 10, 2017, we launched the report titled Agriculture Powering Africa’s Economic Transformation.
After our engagements with African ministers of Agriculture in November of 2017, we took advantage of the appetite displayed for the report to hold another presentation on the sidelines of the fifty-first session of the UNECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in May 2018. This event was held together the Economic Commission for Africa’s Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD). The meeting shared the key findings of the report and provided evidence-based information to policymakers, policy analysts and other stakeholders on advancing inclusive structural transformation through the development and implementation of agricultural modernization and agro-processing policies that link smallholders to input and output markets. Officials of the ministries of finance, economic planning and industry, agriculture; regional and national planners; investors and farmers’ organizations from various countries participated. Also, on May 30, 2018, we partnered with the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to organize a stakeholder policy dialogue on Agricultural Transformation in Ghana. The dialogue brought together relevant stakeholders in agriculture and agribusiness, including policymakers, private sector, civil society, academia, development partners, various youth in agriculture networks, and the media. The dialogue focused on four policy areas identified by the ATR2 as key priorities in transforming agriculture in Ghana. These included: Land reforms, Agro-processing, Skills development and employment, and Markets.
In June 2018, we invited all countries which we have engaged as a direct result of the ATR2 or as a result of other studies which we have conducted in agriculture to the African Transformation Forum where we officially kick-started the PACT agriculture chapter. The first day of the forum gave countries the opportunity to meet as a chapter and share knowledge and experiences. The meeting was enriched by the participation of key players in the field like AGRA, the Tony Blair Institute among others. The Ugandan minister of agriculture participated in the working session of the chapter and presented the outcomes of their discussion to the forum on the second day. A session of the proceedings on the second day focused exclusively on agriculture and its ability, as Africa’s dominant economic sector, to transform the continent with a presentation of the ATR. This was followed by a panel discussion involving the West Africa Regional Head and a Vice President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Executive Director for Africa at the Tony Blair Institute. Beyond the ATF, we will continue to engage chapter countries, championed by Kenya to develop implementable country level action plans based on the outputs of the working session. After a successful launch of the chapter, we will be working with key partners like AGRA and the Gates Foundation, to prioritize key issues the chapter can address in alignment with country priorities using the ATR2 and other key analysis as a baseline for best practice. We will also formalize chapter membership with countries and kick-start country level implementation activities.