from The African Economist..
July 5, 2013
Posted by Editor
“Agriculture remains a crucial cornerstone to Africa’s economic transformation, and there are many examples where it has been pivotal to the realized growth, including among others in Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, and my own country, Rwanda, President Kagame said.
The Rwandan President was speaking at the opening of the African Development Bank’s High Level Seminar of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group in Marrakech on May 28.
However, agriculture must be treated as a business and not just a subsistence activity, in order for sector to become a transformation agent.
Kagame explained that with increased urbanisation, demand for food is expected to double in the next ten years, underscoring to change the situation whereby only 5% of cereals imported by African countries are from the continent.
“A huge market therefore exists. The potential to increase productivity, create more jobs and raise incomes is ever present. But to turn agriculture into a business dictates that we modernise it, invest in technology and research, make reforms in land tenure, land and water management use, and develop transportation infrastructure for greater distribution and trade,” he added.
President Kagame emphasised the need for development tailored to local needs that have proven that development programs impact positively on poverty reduction.
President Kaberuka emphasized the need for Africa to consolidate recent achievements, adding that the seminars provide a good opportunity to explore what it will take to consolidate this past decade’s achievements and move forward.
“But we can identify megatrends around which we can build scenarios,” he said.
He cited mega-trends that would impact Africa’s socio-economic landscape fundamentally, andaround which the continent’s transformation agenda can be built.
The six categories include how Africa will fit in the emerging dispersed global economic power, the continent’s democratic dividend, and expansion of African cities, jump-starting technology, mitigating climate change, and vast amounts of natural resources.
The session was attended by eminent persons including former Botswana President, Festus Moghae, Côte d’Ivoire’s Prime Minister, Daniel Kablan Duncan, to name but few.