Press releases

Strong Leadership for New High Level Policy Dialogue Forum on African Agriculture and Food Security

Abijdan: The Malabo Montpellier Panel is honoured to announce that the Right Honourable Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi and His Excellency Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, Minister of State for Planning and Development of the Republic of Benin will serve as co-chairs on the Malabo Montpellier Forum. The Forum provides a platform for decision makers at the highest level of government to review the evidence on progress that is being achieved on the ground towards meeting key agriculture and food security goals and exchange on lessons and strategies to foster positive change across all African countries. Meetings of the Forum are guided by the technical reports prepared by the members of the Malabo Montpellier Panel.

“I am delighted to be co-chairing this Forum to support the members of the Malabo Montpellier Panel and invited experts to make a real difference to the lives of people across Africa. We have an opportunity here to help realise the potential of the agriculture sector and learn lessons from the success we see all around us for a more prosperous future” says the Right Honorable Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi.

The Malabo Montpellier Panel consists of 17 leading African and European experts in agriculture, ecology, nutrition, public policy and global development. Its works focuses on facilitating access to high quality technical evidence to inform policy choices that accelerate progress towards the goals set out in theAfrican Union’s Agenda 2063, the Malabo Declaration, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

H.E Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané notes that “Africa has gone through a remarkable economic recovery over the the last two decades.  This is the first time we can look back at such a long time of broad based progress. There are a lot of lessons to be learned. We need to understand the factors that have been responsible for the positive change. In other words, we need to determine what has worked, why, and how to make things work better for the benefit of all of our people.”

The Malabo Declaration, adopted by 54 African governments in 2014, commits signatory countries to halve the number of people in poverty by 2025 through inclusive agricultural growth that creates job opportunities for young people and women. The Panel and Forum support the realization of the above goals by facilitating dialogue at the highest level around latest research findings and technical evidence to advance agricultural and growth strategies in Africa.

Ousmane Badiane, co-chair of the Malabo Montpellier Panel says “We have been very fortunate to receive the backing of The Right Honorable Saulos Klaus Chilima and H. E. Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané. With their leadership, I am confident that the Forum will make significant contribution to the African agenda as set out by the Heads of State in the Malabo declaration and AU Agenda 2063”.

The two champions will chair the inaugural Forum’s meeting this November in Cotonou, Benin.

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Note to editors:

The Right Honorable Saulos Klaus Chilima is a trained economist and politician who has been Vice President of Malawi since June 2014. Before joining politics, he held key leadership positions in various multi-national companies including Unilever, Coca-Cola and Airtel Malawi. He holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Economics) degree and a Master of Science (Economics) degree, both from Chancellor College of the University of Malawi and a PhD from the University of Bolton in the United Kingdom.

H. E. Abdoulaye Bio Tchané is economist by training. He began his career at the Central Bank of the member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, rising to become director of the economic and monetary survey department. He served as Minister of Finance, directed the Africa Division of the International Monetary Fund and he was president of the West African Development Bank before being appointed to the government of President Patrice Talon as Minister of State for Planning and Development in April 2016.

About the Malabo Montpellier Panel

The Malabo Montpellier Panel consists of 17 leading African and international experts working promote evidence and dialogue to help advance the African under the Malabo Declaration's expanded Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). It is hosted by the West and Central African Office of the International Food Policy Research Institute, the University of Bonn and Imperial College London and is headquartered in Dakar Senegal.  It is co-chaired by Dr. Ousmane Badiane, Africa Director at IFPRI and Professor Joachim von Braun, Director, Center for Development Research, University of Bonn.

For more information or arrange an interview contact: Hawa Diop, MaMo Panel,