UNECA Conference: Agricultural transformation report unveiled


The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and the Economic Commission for Africa’s Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD) will jointly organize a presentation of the second African Transformation Report, titled Agriculture Powering Africa’s Economic Transformation, on 13 May at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 11am to 12pm EAT.

his is the fourth in a series of launches and presentations, with the first three launches held in Gaborone, Washington and Abidjan. The upcoming presentation will be held on the sidelines of the fifty-first session of the UNECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The second African Transformation Report focuses on transforming agriculture to drive economic transformation in Africa. Africa has a comparative advantage in respect of unused arable land, water resources, labour, and long growing seasons. It follows that agriculture is central to African economies and that the rationale is compelling for leveraging the sector to kick-start overall economic transformation. The report examines the role of agriculture within a broad economic transformation lens. It looks at how to remodel and commercialize agriculture by raising productivity on farms, reducing harvest and post-harvest losses, strengthening value chains, and linking agriculture more effectively to the rest of the economy through downstream agro-processing, upstream manufacturing of inputs, and logistics. The report also looks at how a transformed agriculture will create employment in value chains, increase incomes, reduce poverty, and help improve the external trade balance. Cross-cutting issues that are considered include gender equity, environment and climate change.

The objective of the meeting is to share the key findings of the report and provide evidence-based information to policymakers, policy analysts and other stakeholders on advancing inclusive structural transformation through the development and implementation of agricultural modernization and agro-processing policies that link smallholders to input and output markets.

The expected outcomes of the meeting are as follows:

Provide a platform to discuss African economic transformation powered by agriculture, with a view to achieving inclusive growth; Share information on opportunities and challenges, and contribute to the agenda on Africa’s agricultural transformation; Outline next steps, including partnerships and upcoming forums.

Officials of the ministries of finance, economic planning and industry, agriculture; regional and national planners; investors and farmers’ organizations are some of those expected to attend the side event.

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