The 2017 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group will be held on May 22-26, 2017 in Ahmedabad, India. The Annual Meetings are the Bank’s largest annual event and serve to raise the profile of the institution on the global stage. In addition to the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, which constitutes the core purpose of the gathering, these Annual Meetings will bring together thousands of delegates and participants, and will feature a number of official, knowledge and side events.
The Governors of the Bank are from the 54 regional member countries and 26 non-regional member countries. The Annual Meetings provide a unique forum for representatives of government, business, civil society, think-tanks, academia and the media – from Africa and beyond – to debate key issues on Africa’s development, and to discuss the Bank’s performance in delivering on its mandate.
Reflecting the significance of agriculture in Africa and in the Bank’s development work, the 2017 Annual Meetings will be held on the theme: “Transforming Agriculture for Wealth Creation in Africa.” Agriculture has a central place in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, both of which focus on poverty reduction, overcoming hunger and food insecurity. Reflecting the global and continental agenda, the Bank has aptly prioritized agriculture transformation by designating it as one of its High 5s: Feed Africa.
Agriculture is an important economic sector in Africa given its centrality to poverty alleviation, food security and economic transformation. Africa spends about US $35 billion per year on food imports and this figure could rise to US $110 billion by 2025.
The potential of the agricultural sector in Africa and the need to bridge the gap on food supply is itself a compelling business case for private sector investment. With over 65% of the world’s remaining arable land, a youthful population – with 420 million people between the ages of 15 and 35 years – and a favourable climate, Africa has the potential to become a global agriculture powerhouse and the setting of the next Green Revolution. Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Senegal and Burkina Faso provide valuable examples of successful agriculture transformation.