TANZANIA – Tanzania is set to host Africa’s Food System Forum 2023, Africa’s premier platform for advancing the agriculture and food systems agenda on the continent, come September 5th-8th 2023 in Dar es Salaam.
Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation is the theme of this year’s Forum, and it centers on restoring healthier food systems and food sovereignty.
It identifies three steps needed to achieve this transformation. One is Recovery, which is a call for decisive strategies and actions to help the continent recover and rebuild its food systems following multiple crises and shocks.
Regenerate is the second step which calls for the need to regenerate the natural resources, such as soil and water, which are essential for sustainable food production, and Act which refers to the need to take urgent action to address food systems challenges, such as climate change, food waste, and food insecurity at only seven years before the 2030 SDG deadline.
The forum, officially launched by Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania, will spotlight the role of women and youth through a re-energized commitment in the food systems conversation, with a focus on regenerating interest in agriculture as a means of wealth creation for the continent.
Speaking at the launch in Dar es Salaam, President Suluhu spotlighted the role of youth and women as critical to Africa’s food systems agenda.
According to the President, the hosting of Africa’s Food System Forum 2023 in Tanzania is of importance to the nation where more than 25 percent of its GDP relies on the agricultural sector.
“For many years, Tanzania’s agriculture was based on subsistence farming. Today, the Government of Tanzania has intentionally made it a goal to prioritize this sector to create livelihoods for our people. We are doing this through various programs borne out of our hosting and learnings of the 2012 AGRF Summit and our focus on ensuring that the youth are a priority in investment and agricultural reform in our country.
“It is my hope that the hosting of this forum in our country is one step forward and a good start to achieving the results we expect in our agricultural sector,” she said.
The annual Summit convenes leaders, policymakers, scientists, heads of governments and private institutions, farmers, and the youth in the agriculture and food systems landscape to discuss and agree on practical actions and solutions that drive Africa’s food security and better livelihoods for all.
As a testament to the partnerships’ desire to advance the transformation of Africa’s food system and continue involvement year-round, Tanzania will be the first nation to host the AGRF Summit since the forum was rebranded as Africa’s Food Systems Forum in 2022.
“Tanzania as the host of this forum announces to the world that our country aims to become a food granary for Africa and the world in general. I would like to call on the international community, partners of Africa’s Food Systems Forum, the private sector, and development partners to participate fully in the upcoming forum on the development of the agricultural sector to strengthen food systems in Africa,” President Suluhu said.
Actualization of commitments necessary
The Chair of the Africa Food Systems Forum, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, emphasized the significance of the continent moving beyond planning to combat food insecurity to executing and actualizing commitments in his remarks.
He also called for innovation, partnership, leadership, and home-grown solutions to address emerging agricultural and food systems challenges.
“Our challenges around the food system challenges will only get worse unless we work together to drive meaningful change. The difference between Africa we seek to see and the Africa we shall become by 2060 is all dependent on the decisions we as leaders make and the supporting infrastructure, investments, and policies in transforming food systems to produce sufficient, nutritious food in the changing social, political, and climatic conditions.
“As we rally towards the next Africa’s Food Systems Forum, it is important that we deepen our efforts to scale up our homegrown solutions and partnerships,” he said.
The Africa Food Systems Forum will take place from September 5th-8th 2023 in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, with a pre-summit event scheduled for September 4th, 2023.
Tanzania’s presentation of its ground-breaking Building a Better Tomorrow Youth Initiative in Agribusiness (BBT-YIA) initiative will be a major highlight of the summit.
This ambitious project intends to provide millions of young people with the knowledge, tools, and opportunities necessary to thrive in today’s cutthroat global marketplace and engage in the agribusiness industry.