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Making Sustainable Agriculture a Future for Youth in Africa

Ministers of Agriculture from the African Union and the European Union are invited to participate at the Ministerial Conference Making Sustainable Agriculture a Future for Youth in Africa.

Considering the key role of agricultural development for structural transformation in Africa, the aim of the conference is to build up political engagement ahead of the Africa EU Summit, on a common vision on how to generate sustainable, inclusive jobs for African youth in the agri-food sector and rural economy.

Parallel thematic sessions will focus on: increasing responsible private investment in the agri-food sector in Africa; research innovation and the role of digitalisation in agriculture; sustainable water management; climate-smart agriculture and food losses and waste.

The meeting takes place on Sunday, 2 July 2017, 14:00‑18:30 at FAO headquarters in Rome.

The outcome of the Ministerial Conference will be reported to the 5th Africa-EU Summit in November 2017 and will guide future work of both the European Commission and the African Union Commission in this area. The meeting is following the ‘AU-EU: Investing in a Food Secure Future’ Conference, held in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, in July 2016.

The event is co-hosted by the African Union Commission, the European Commission and the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council.

The meeting will be closed with a cocktail reception. Formal invitation and full programme will follow soon.

Participants and followers are invited to tweet about the conference using the hashtag #AUEU4farmers

This event will be preceded by a high-level Investors Forum on 1 July among business leaders and financing institutions regarding the instruments available to increase financing of investment in agriculture (by invitation only).

This Forum seeks to advance the discussion among key players for the European External Investment Plan and innovative financing in the area of private agricultural investment. It will bring together senior figures among those who are interested in investing in African agriculture – major European and African companies – as well as those providing the financing to make these investments possible – the financing institutions in both the public and private sector. They will address the question of financing tools in agriculture, and the key levers for easier financing of business expansion. Main messages from this Investors Forum will be presented to the AU-EU Ministerial Conference on 2 July, in order to aliment the discussion.



Time Agenda
Sunday, 2 July 2017
13:00–14:00 Registration at FAO (Viale delle Terme di Caracalla – Rome)

Plenary opening – RED ROOM

  • Mrs Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commissioner
  • Mr Graziano da Silva, FAO Director General
  • Mr Tarmo Tamm, Minister Estonian Presidency in EU Council
  • Mr Phil Hogan, European Union Commissioner
  • Moderator: Mr Hans Hoogeveen, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome

Webstreaming of the opening session at


Setting the Scene

  • Mr Gilbert F. Houngbo, President IFAD
  • Dr Juergen Voegele, Director of the World Bank's Agriculture Global Practice
15:30–17:30 Parallel High Level Sessions

1. Responsible Private Sector Investment and Access to Markets – IRAQ ROOM (color of the panel: red; concept note (67.12 KB, PDF))

  • Moderator: Mr Roberto Ridolfi, Director DEVCO C, European Commission
  • Introductory keynote speakers:
    • Mrs Agnes Kalibata, President AGRA
    • Mrs Mella Frewen, Director General FoodDrinkEurope
    • Dr Chiji Ojukwu, African Development Bank
    • Dr Martin Märkl, Bayer
    • Mr Jonathan Bee, Head of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, Nestlé
    • Mr Daniel Gad, Omega Farms

Q & A Session

2. Research and Innovation and the Role of Digitalisation in Agriculture – GERMAN ROOM (color of the panel: yellow; concept note (134.12 KB, PDF))

  • Moderator: Mr Norman Jardine, Head of Unit, European Commission
  • Keynote speakers:
    • Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director of FARA
    • Dr Philippe Petithuguenin, Deputy Director for Research and Strategy at CIRAD
    • Mr Cezar Santos Alvarez, FAO, e-Agriculture
    • Mrs Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission
    • Dr Dashiell Kenton, Deputy Director General, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Q & A Session

3. Agriculture Water Use and Management – ETHIOPIA ROOM (color of the panel: blue; concept note (79.39 KB, PDF))

  • Moderator: Mr Friedrich Wacker, Deputy Director General, German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture
  • Introductory keynote speakers:
    • Mr Daniel Calleja, Director General of the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission
    • Mr Capoulas Santos, Portugal Minister of Agriculture
    • Dr Timothy O. Williams, Director Africa of International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
    • Dr Abdul Karim Seid, Head of the Water Resources Programme, Nile Basin Initiative (NBI)
    • Mr Jose Eugenio Naranjo Chicharro, Sub-Director General of Spain Ministry of Agriculture
    • Mrs Chantal Marijnissen, Head of Unit, DG DEVCO, European Commission
    • Dr Jochen Froebrich, Senior Researcher at Wageningen Environmental Research, European Water Platform
    • Mr Jan-Willem Vosmeer, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Global Affairs, Heineken

Q & A Session

4. Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Losses and Waste – PHILIPPINES ROOM (color of the panel: green; concept note (66.95 KB, PDF))

  • Moderator: Craig Hanson (WRI)
  • Keynote speakers:
    • Mr Andrew Doyle, Ireland Minister for Agriculture
    • Mrs Estherine Fotabong, Director NPCA (NEPAD)
    • Mrs Zenebu Tadesse, Ethiopia Ambassador to Rome-based UN Agencies
    • Mr Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General
    • Mr Alan Jagoe, President of CEJA
    • Mr Ishmael Sunga, CEO SACAU
    • Mr Francesco Rampa (ECDPM) 

Q & A Session


Closing session (in plenary room)

Reporting from thematic high-level sessions

  • Mr Giuseppe Castiglione, Italian Ministry of Agriculture Under-Secretary
  • Mr Li Yong, UNIDO Director General
  • Mr Mafuleka Gift Siphiwe, young farmer
  • Mrs Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, AU Commissioner

Webstreaming of the Closing Session at

19:00–21:00 Welcome reception (FAO terrace)