For Africa to be able to bridge gaps in its food systems, countries need to jointly invest in transport and storage infrastructure, and move faster to harmonize tariff systems, said President Paul Kagame as he addressed the ongoing 12th Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Kigali on Wednesday, September 7. Speaking at the Presidential Summit on ‘Advancing Pathways for People, Planet and Prosperity’, Kagame made reference to the previous summit which he said happened on the eve of the UN Food Systems Summit, when the continent advanced a strong Common African Position. “The Covid-19 pandemic, ongoing conflicts, and the global supply chain and energy crisis, are all placing unusual strain on our food systems. A few lessons are clear, from our past experiences. First, we are stronger together. The African Continental Free Trade Area is a good start, with huge potential. We cannot have a coherent approach to agricultural transformation, without a close integration with Africa’s international trade policy,” Kagame told over 2,600 delegates attending the summit. Kagame also called for targeted support to local businesses and smallholder farmers who were hit hard by recent shocks like climate change and conflicts saying that investments made today, create resilience and new possibilities tomorrow. “Beyond our continent, we have so much to gain from, and share with other regions. Africa should not be struggling with food insecurity, given our natural endowments. We can feed ourselves, and even feed others. This is an opportunity for us to work together, learn from each other, and advance home-grown solutions, tailored to our specific contexts,” said the President. The summit confirmed that Africa needs to reform its food systems, rethink how the continent produces, distributes, and eat nutritious food, and to do this, political and business leaders say they have to act differently and be willing to set different agendas that transform their food systems. The chairperson of AGRF Partners Group, Hailemariam Desalegn, announced that the summit will, effective next year be renamed to Africa Food Systems summit. “The prosperity of Africa depends on the commitments we have made on several agricultural programmes, food systems and AfCFTA to implementation,” said Desalegn, who is also the former prime minister of Ethiopia. The Presidential summit was also attended by Mohamed Bazoum, the President of Niger, Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa, Tanzania’s Vice President Philip Mpango, the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President-elect, Alvaro Lario, the and former Nigerian President and outgoing Chair of the Africa Food Prize Committee, Olusegun Obasanjo, among others. During a penal discussion that brought together Presidents Kagame, Bazoum, Mnangagwa and Mpango, they all pointed at gaps causing food insecurity in Africa, detailing how they can be bridged and committed to action of working together. “Africa has all the resources to develop, modernise, industrialise our counties only if we mobilise collectively, share and learn from each other,” said Mnangagwa, adding that, “When development partners introduced and upheld sanctions against Zimbabwe, it's our fellow African brothers and sisters who came to our aid and have continued to support us in our journey to getting back on our feet.” Tanzania’s vice president called for increased investment in agriculture and made reference to his country saying that, “Tanzania increased its budget allocation to agriculture from US$125million last year to US$ 404 million this year.” The AGRF summit is expected to end on Friday with a call to end food insecurity on the continent.