In the framework of the upcoming AgriBusiness Forum 2013, ‘The Agri-Food Sector: A Catalyst for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in Africa’, H.E Robert Masozera,Ambassador of Rwanda, to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of Cyprus, the EU and the ACP Group and Idit Miller, EMRC Vice President and Managing Director, officially announced this year’s AgriBusiness Forum, to be held in Kigali, Rwanda from 6-9 October 2013 to the media and investors at the Brussels Press Club.
In his speech, the Ambassador highlighted the key elements of the forum:
“Although Rwanda will be hosting the AgriBusiness Forum 2013, the main goal of the forum is to promote the potential of all Africa. The AgriBusiness Forum is a great platform for international partnerships. I want to invite you to join us in this vital event in order to evaluate the investment opportunities in agriculture and sectors related to it.”
Rwanda’s stability and the rapid growth in Foreign Direct Investment, which grew from US$106 million in 2011 to US$160 million FDI, and the Government’s drive to view agriculture as a sector with high-potential were just some of the key points spotlighted by the Ambassador.
“The agriculture sector is one of the most important sectors in Rwanda. Agriculture employs more than 80% of the Rwandese population, so this sector has a major impact on the fight against poverty. Rwanda is one of the most favorable countries for doing business in Africa, ranking number one in East Africa and number three in all of Africa. Agriculture contributes to 1/3 of the country’s GDP and grows every year by 6-7%. Agriculture responds to more than 90% of the Rwandese consumption. The AgriBusiness Forum is a capital event to be organized in the country.” he highlighted.
Alongside him, Mrs. Miller underlined the AgriBusiness Forum’s strengths which include bringing the public and private sector around the same table, with a focus on ensuring inclusive growth for the entire Agri-Food value chain, in addition to organising hundreds of B2B meetings. Mrs. Miller stressed that the tailor-made B2B sessions would provide a ‘live’ platform to build South-South and North-South Partnerships.
“The AgriBusiness Forum is the largest annual pan-African gathering held on African soil focusing on agriculture and agro-food and we strive to make sure that participants leave the forum with real tangible outputs. The B2B meetings and the variety of people represented has allowed us to grow from year to year,” she explained.
International agricultural experts, Government officials, multinationals, farmer and private sector associations, donor organisations, civil society, investors and financiers representing Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas will participate to discuss on-going projects, best practices and strategic policies with the aim of establishing investment and business partnerships for this sector, acknowledged as pivotal for the entire continent’s growth.
In addition, this year’s forum will again be held in collaboration with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Rabobank Foundation, which works extensively throughout Africa providing access to finance for rural farmers. To highlight innovative business projects coming out of Africa, EMRC and Rabobank Foundation are once again collaborating for the Project Incubator Award which will provide a US$15,000 cash prize to the designated winner.
The AgriBusiness Forum will showcase the key issues currently underpinning the Agri-Food sector and highlight expected objectives and business projections.