Commitments emerging from 15 National Pathways by African leaders highlighted the work of AGRA and the AGRF at the UN Food Systems Summit

Last month, over 100 world leaders gathered at the UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS), during the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, to review the progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals Last month, over 100 world leaders gathered at the UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS), during the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, to review the progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the run-up to the high-profile forum, and afterwards, AGRA and the AGRF convened government leaders, scientists, international organizations, donor partners, and farmers in side-events to outline the priorities for the next nine years. These side-sessions (summarized below) drew from the regional pathways and priorities identified at the AGRF Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, two weeks ahead of the UN FSS; they were also informed by the Africa Common Position to the UN Food Systems Summit.

  • Six African heads of State and 20 ministers presented national pathways emerging from the past year of national dialogues on Food Systems transformation at the UNFSS. Country teams and technical experts from AGRA supported more than 15 African countries in the development of their food systems agendas and pathways, in addition to facilitating development of the African continental position paper, also presented by the African Union President, H.E. President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi.
  • September 21, 2021: AGRA and the AGRF hosted a high-level UN FSS side event under the theme: “Delivering on the African Agenda in Building Resilient Food Systems”. The event brought together two high-level cross-cutting panels to address African challenges and solutions in the transition to resilient food systems. The speakers further highlighted what needs to be done to turn political ambition into reality, building on commitments and ambition out of the Ministerial Roundtable outcomes from AGRF.
  • September 22, 2021: AGRA, through its VALUE4Her platform, hosted a special side event to highlight the role of women in food systems transformation, and to create awareness on the critical role of women in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The TalkCorner event featured Dr Hajia Salamatu Garba, the founder of Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), who reflected on the lessons from her work in advancing women’s participation in food systems transformation. Dr Garba is the winner of the inaugural VALUE4HER Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA2021), recognized for her effort in mobilizing functional women led smallholder farmer’s groups, as well as creating commercially registered women agribusinesses.
  • September 24, 2021: Generation Africa, a thematic platform of the AGRF Summit; in conjunction with AGRA, hosted a youth-centric UN FSS side event titled, ‘The Favourite Food Extravaganza’, which showcased and highlighted the nutritional aspects of Africa’s indigenous dishes in a fun and relatable manner. The extravaganza was planned in alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – in particular, to end malnutrition in all its forms by 2030 and to strengthen the link between diet, food systems and health.
  • September 29, 2021: Dr. Kalibata met with the US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, in a meeting that was also attended by UN Chief of Staff, Adam Gerstenmeier, AGRA’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Chief of Party, Vanessa Adams, and AGRA’s US representative Marshall Matz. Discussions at the meeting covered research and extension, as well as the support that AGRA might gain from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) through a new Memorandum of Understanding. 

September 29, 2021: AGRA President Dr. Agnes Kalibata met with USAID Administrator Samantha Power to review the outcomes of the UN FSS especially focusing on President Biden’s commitment of USD 10bn, of which half will be for global support. The two principals discussed strategies for supporting countries in fast-tracking the transformation of their food systems, and implementing critical agricultural and food systems transformations to reduce hunger and malnutrition while adapting to climate change extensively highlighted in the National Pathways submitted by member states prior to the New York Summit. Administrator Power and Dr. Kalibata also discussed how AGRA can support Feed the Future’s strategy refresh and significant in-country efforts to reach increase farmers productivity with climate-adapted crop varieties and enhanced food fortification, while building more nutritious, sustainable, and equitable food systems.