FAO Regional Office for Africa

African Agribusiness Leadership Dialogue 2020 (AALD)

Recent trends in Africa provide significant opportunities for private sector-led growth that can stimulate investments and drive rural and agricultural Transformation in African economies. These trends include:

  • Growing African food markets estimated to be $1 trillion by 2030 as well as Africa continental free trade area with estimated combined GDP of $2.5 trillion with up to $6.7 trillion in consumer and business spending;
  • Technologies, particularly digital technologies, with increasing internet connectivity and uptake of mobile phones; and
  • Shifting demographic trends due mainly to rapid urbanization and growing, youth population.

The Regional Private Sector Dialogue or African Agribusiness Leadership Dialogue 2020 (AALD), aims to engage a broad range of private investors[1] in agriculture and food systems in the Africa region, in order to obtain their perspectives on trade and investment opportunities, including constraints in two specific areas:

  1. Africa Continental Free Trade Area; and
  2. Investment in agricultural and rural transformation, including intraregional trade.

The theme of this year’s dialogue is “Reshaping agriculture and trade in Africa”, looking at 3 main areas: intra-African trade, agribusiness innovation, and agricultural financing and trade.

The expected outcomes of the Regional Private Sector Dialogue/ Consultation are a set of high priority reforms and investment priorities, as seen by private sector actors, which will inform the ministerial roundtable on “Enhancing Policy and Regulatory Environments to Stimulate Investments for Rural and Agricultural Transformation” at the 31st session of the FAO African Regional Conference for Africa (ARC).

The objectives of the dialogue are:

  • Spark innovative ideas - initiate outside-the-box thinking and inspirational and innovative ideas that shape a fresh perspective on agriculture and trade in Africa
  • Generate demands with stakeholders – table key discussion points crafted from the discussions of the event to be presented at the ARC, alongside selected private sector actors
  • Build a lasting relationship – establish and reinforce significant return on investment for the private sector stakeholders, representing sufficient value-add for sustained future engagement.

The Regional Conferences for Africa (ARC) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are an official forum, taking place every biennium, where ministers of agriculture and high officials of 54 Member States from the region, meet to elaborate, beyond the borders of the individual countries, on challenges and priority matters related to food and agriculture.

The 31st session of the FAO ARC will be held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from 23 to 27 March 2020.

[1] includes enterprises, organizations, companies or businesses, regardless of size, ownership, and structure. FAO considers the following stakeholders as private sector entities: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); Multinational Corporations (MNCs); Private Financial Institutions; Industry and Trade Associations; Consortia representing private sector interests; and Private and philanthropic foundations. It covers all sectors of the food, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries systems from production to consumption, including associated services: financing, investment, insurance, marketing, and trade.