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World Economic Forum this Week in Kigali: Africa's Future Depends on Transforming Agriculture

The importance of agriculture and agribusiness in unlocking shared prosperity in Africa was the subject of a high level panel of African leaders who addressed the Grow Africa Investment Forum held as part of the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF) in Kigali this week.

President Akinwumi Adesina of the African Development Bank emphasised that to achieve this, investments in agriculture and allied value chains were critical. "We have to sort out infrastructure- irrigation... ..only 3 percent of arable land in Africa is irrigated," he said. Adesina stated the importance of increasing agricultural sector financing, citing Nigeria, where productivity grew following increased funding to the sector from 0.1 percent in 2011 to 5 percent five years later.

The issue of finding alternative approaches for financing was addressed. Claver Gatete, Rwanda's Minister for Finance and Economic Planning underscored that partnerships with the private sector was critical. "Government financing alone will not be sufficient; agriculture has impact in industry, manufacturing, the service sector, and many others, and therefore the need for all to pull together," he said.

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