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African Green Revolution Forum Concludes With ‘Green Revolution’ Action Plan

Participants at the first meeting of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) – which wrapped up recently in Accra, Ghana – drew up a “Green Revolution” action plan aimed at ensuring food security in Africa, SciDev.Net reports. The forum is the result of a challenge, issued by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, which calls on the private and public sectors to work together to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

“This is the first time we have laid out a very clear action plan on what needs to accelerate the pace of the Green Revolution in terms of technologies, policies, finance and infrastructure investments,” said AGRF Executive Co-Producer Akin Adesina, who is also vice president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), according to the website. “You cannot have a [green] revolution if you don’t have a larger constituency supporting the move. What we were able to achieve in Accra was to have a huge group of stakeholders saying yes, Africa can and should end its food crisis,” he said. 

In-country workshops that will review commitments with relevant partners have already been planned, Adesina said. In addition, AGRF has already set up a sub-committee charged with measuring progress. The forum also plans on working with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to monitor whether country level projects are contributing to a NEPAD initiative that aims to achieve a six percent growth rate in African agriculture by 2015, the news service writes.

“The good thing about the forum is [it shows] Africa is beginning to drive its own agenda,” said Yvonne Pinto, director of the Agriculture Learning and Impact Network at the Institute of Development Studies. But she said that “[m]onitoring and evaluation and open publication of this data will be key — the main challenge here is turning the rhetoric into reality” (Antony, 9/10).

“Today we move forward, strongly united and passionately committed to the concrete actions that we have jointly developed,” AGRF Chair Annan said at the closing of the forum, according to an AGRF press release (.pdf). A communique at the close of the forum highlighted other outcomes, including agreements to invest in food security research and better water management (9/4).

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