At least 40 African countries will be represented at a major agri-business forum slated for next week in Kigali.
Up to 350 industry players including policymakers and experts from all over the world will participate in the high level forum, the Minister for Agriculture, Dr Agnes Kalibata said on Tuesday.
Kalibata said that the forum is a major opportunity to attract new investors and technologies within the country’s Agri-food sector, which remains untapped.
“This event will help get the country and the region’s agriculture sector to the next level, by bringing the private sector on board to ensure real growth and development,” she said.
She said it was a major opportunity for the meeting to be hosted in Rwanda, just as the country is rolling out EDPRS 2, a development strategy that will seeks to deliver the country to a middle income economy.
Agriculture is specifically catered for in the five-year Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2).
The forum will also seek to address the quality aspect in agricultural commodities from production, postharvest, processing to consumption as well as quality as a catalyst to commercialisation of agriculture and access to markets.
Key organisers include the Government of Rwanda, the Private Sector Federation and the European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC).
Idit Miller, the EMRC-International vice president, said agri-business is the future of African countries.
“This is an opportunity for Rwanda and the entire East African region; Agri-business can be the future for many African countries. We chose Rwanda because it is an example of significant economic growth and doing business,” he said.
The forum will also seek to address the current quality issues in the agriculture sector.
“Rwanda has annual growth rate of around 7.7 per cent and Zero tolerance to corruption, one could say Rwanda is leading the way and we are therefore honoured to be able to showcase Rwanda,” Miller said.