Agriculture Key to Africa’s Prosperity, Experts at Connect Africa Symposium say

Written by on April 26, 2024

Charity Chikara


The Connect Africa Symposium, held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, brought together experts with a unifying message: Africa’s agricultural sector holds the key to the continent’s economic rise.

Dr. Ayodele Odusola, resident representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), called for a radical shift in African agriculture. He envisions a transformation from subsistence farming to thriving businesses driving innovation and economic growth.

Africa’s vast, underutilized land and lower population density offer a unique opportunity, yet the continent still faces food insecurity. Dr. Odusola proposed a bold strategy: Africa should aim to become a net exporter of 90% of its agricultural produce, ensuring domestic food security while creating massive job opportunities.

He emphasized the need for affordable inputs and resources for farmers, urging businesses to prioritize affordability. Consolidation of small-scale farms into larger, more efficient enterprises was also highlighted. Embracing smart farming techniques to counter climate change’s impact on agriculture was another key point.

Mr. Patrick Sikana, Country Director for Care Zimbabwe, echoed the need for modernization to attract young people to agriculture. He called for policy changes to benefit small-scale farmers and investment in rural infrastructure to promote inclusive growth across the continent.

The Connect Africa Symposium leaves a clear message: by harnessing the potential of its agricultural sector, Africa can unlock a future of prosperity and self-sufficiency.

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