Ghana’s Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) and Grow Africa, a pan-African organisation that promotes development through agriculture, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring into line various activities along the agribusiness value chain.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Accra, Executive Director of Grow Africa William Asiko expressed optimism that the agreement will help put in place structures which make it easier for investors to inject money into the sector.
“Agribusiness is a very attractive term. The idea of converting something that the majority of Africans do every day into a commercial activity is a very attractive one, but there are many challenges along the way,” he said.
According to him, despite the huge potential in agriculture no country on the continent has succeeded in creating wealth from it – hence the need to expedite measures for harmonising the various activities along the agribusiness value chain.
“The most important question now is: how do we convert that potential into commercial activity? So, what we are doing now is to align the efforts… For instance, if all the stakeholder platforms can come together under PEF, then they will be stronger and we will be able to align these efforts better,” he added.
The Grow Africa partnership was founded jointly by the African Union (AU), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the World Economic Forum in 2011. It works to increase private sector investment in agriculture, and accelerate the execution and impact of investment commitments.
The aim is to enable countries to realise the agriculture sector’s potential for economic growth and job-creation; particularly among farmers, women and youth. Grow Africa brokers collaboration between governments, international and domestic agriculture companies, and smallholder farmers in order to lower the risk and cost of investing in agriculture, and improve the speed of return to all stakeholders.
Chief Executive Officer of PEF, Nana Osei Bonsu, described the partnership as a win-win situation; adding that it will contribute to making the country a net producer of food as well as a net exporter.
“This relationship with Grow Africa is to empower our local farmers, the smallholder ones and the processors. Grow Africa has had extensive partnerships with diaspora agriculture actors that they can bring to bear so as to improve upon some of the gains that we have made,” Mr. Osei Bonsu stated.