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This year, the UNDP-EMRC AgriBusiness Forum will focus on “Engaging the Private Sector for Africa’s Agri-Food Growth”, following the recent international policies focusing on ensuring inclusive agricultural strategies.

The success of Africa depends on the success of its private sector, and EMRC encourages the international community of entrepreneurs, donors, financiers, civil society and officials to become fully involved and to contribute to the growth of Africa’s Agri-Food sector by partnering with projects around Africa.

To support the small holders and rural communities the “Project Incubator Award”, a $15.000 cash prize sponsored by Rabobank Foundation was initiated and will be presented during the forum’s Gala Evening.

Tina Joemat-Pettersson, SA’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries together with the Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Richard Tsvangirai.   The UNDP will convene senior decision makers and opinion leaders for a “high level Private-Public dialogue”. 

The AgriBusiness Forum, the flagship event of EMRC, is the largest pan-African Agribusiness Forum held on African soil, which brings delegates from North and South to discuss best practices and business opportunities in the Agro-Food sector in Africa. The Forum started less than 10 years ago in Brussels and Rome (at the FAO headquarters) with 200-250 delegates and moved to Africa to our partners and members’ request.  An expected 500 people will be attending this year’s forum.

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda in his closing remarks at the Agribusiness Forum 2010 rightfully said: “If we talk about agribusiness, Africa is the place.”

A unique feature of ERMC forums is the Business to Business (B2B) meetings which are tailor-made for participants to meet potential partners. Specialised software is used to categorise participants to ensure that these meetings achieve positive and successful business outcomes.

In line with international policies and a growing focus on Africa, the AgriBusiness Forum 2011 objectives are:

  • To encourage collaboration between governments and businesses
  • To present innovations which have a positive effect on food security, food quality and nutrition
  • To showcase successful Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs)
  • To share experiences and lessons in inclusive business models for agribusiness development
  • To discuss Africa’s institutional framework and support for agribusiness investment, planning and promotion
  • To strengthen the importance of a conducive business environment to attract new investment and to increase economic incentive to foster R&D in agriculture, nutrition and food safety
  • To present possible strategies to attract more foreign/local private investment in Africa
  • To showcase programmes and projects that support SME growth, especially cross-border and regional Agri-Food chains

EMRC International is a nonprofit international association established in Brussels in 1992 (www.emrc.be) which promotes sustainable economic development in Africa through building of partnerships and attracting investment. To this end, EMRC organizes business forums in Africa and Europe, where a few hundred decision makers from the industry, finance, civil society and government discuss projects of development and present best practices. In addition, we lead economic and agric missions to India and Israel and run training programmes in financial & management subjects in Europe for African entrepreneurs. Thanks to these activities, many South-North and South-South partnerships have materialized, projects implemented and financed, transfer of technology and know-how, as well as commercial agreements realized.