Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo says the African Food prize initiative worth $100 000 (about K64.3million) will help inspire those who are taking control of the Africa’s agriculture agenda.
Speaking at the on-going 12th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Partnership Platform Meeting in Ghana, Obasanjo said the prize puts a bright spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent.
“We want to celebrate individuals and institutions that are changing the reality of farming in Africa, from a gruelling struggle to survive to a profitable family business that thrives,” said the former Nigerian President.
Chief Executive Officer for New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Ibrahim Mayaki said Africa’s agricultural transformation agenda will not materialise unless the continent demonstrates abilities to speak to the requirements of the structural transformation.
“Let us be reminded that the Malabo Declaration is situated at the highest level of ambition in that it has placed agricultural development in the broader context of the structural transformation of our societies,” he said.
Winners of the African Food Prize will be chosen by the Africa Food Prize Committee that will include Obsanjo and other distinguished leaders in African agriculture.
The award gala will be held annually during a prize ceremony at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), starting with the 2016 AGRF slated for 5-9 September in Nairobi, Kenya.
Past winners include Dr. Akinwumi Adesina-former Nigerian Agriculture Minister who now heads the African Development Bank (AfDB); Agnes Kalibata-former Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda who now serves as AGRA’s President; and Ousmane Badiane, Africa Director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).