Her Excellency Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania officially launched the Africa’s Food System Forum 2023, Africa’s premier platform for advancing the agriculture and food systems agenda on the continent, at State House, Tanzania.
The theme of this year’s Forum – Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation – is anchored around building back better Food Systems and Food Sovereignty. It identifies three steps needed to achieve this transformation: Recovery: a call for decisive strategies and actions to help the continent recover and rebuild its food systems following multiple crises and shocks; Regenerate: which calls for the need to regenerate the natural resources, such as soil and water, which are essential for sustainable food production, and Act: which refers to the need to take urgent action to address food systems challenges, such as climate change, food waste, and food insecurity at only seven years before the 2030 SDG deadline.
The forum will spotlight the role of women and youth through a re-energized commitment in the food systems conversation, with a focus on regenerating interest in agriculture as a means of wealth creation for the continent.
Speaking at the launch in Dar es Salaam, President Suluhu spotlighted the role of youth and women as critical to Africa’s food systems agenda
Speaking at the launch, H.E. President Samia Suluhu said:
“The hosting of the Africa’s Food System Forum 2023 is of importance to our nation where more than 25 percent of our GDP relies on the agricultural sector. For many years, Tanzania’s agriculture was based on subsistence farming. Today, the Government of Tanzania has intentionally made it a goal to prioritize this sector to create livelihoods for our people. We are doing this through various programmes borne out of our hosting and learnings of the 2012 AGRF Summit and our focus on ensuring that the youth are a priority in investment and agricultural reform in our country. It is my hope that the hosting of this forum in our country is one step forward and a good start to achieve the results we expect in our agricultural sector.
In addition, Tanzania as the host of this forum announces to the world that our country aims to become a food granary for Africa and the world in general. I would like to call on the international community, partners of Africa’s Food Systems Forum, the private sector and development partners to participate fully in the upcoming forum on the development of the agricultural sector to strengthen food systems in Africa.”
In his remarks, the Chair of the Africa Food Systems Forum H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn highlighted the importance of the continent moving beyond planning to curb food insecurity, to executing and actualizing commitments, and called for innovation, partnership, leadership and home-grown solutions to respond to emergent agricultural and food systems challenges.
“Our challenges around food system challenges will only get worse unless we work together to drive meaningful change. The difference between the Africa we seek to see and the Africa we shall become by 2060 is all dependent on the decisions we as leaders make and the supporting infrastructure, investments and policies in transforming food systems to produce sufficient, nutritious food in the changing social, political and climatic conditions.
As we rally towards the next Africa’s Food Systems Forum, it is important that we deepen our efforts to scale up our homegrown solutions and partnerships.” He said.
The Africa Food Systems Forum will take place from September 5th-8th 2023 in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, with a pre-summit event scheduled for September 4th 2023. Launch. The summit will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including leaders, policymakers, scientists, heads of governments and private institutions, farmers, and youth, to agree on practical actions and solutions. These discussions are crucial to driving Africa’s food security forward and creating better livelihoods for all.