The Malabo Montpellier Panel’s report —Byte by Byte: Policy Innovation for Transforming Africa’s Food System with Digital Technologies—Summarizes the key findings of a systematic analysis of what seven African countries at the forefront of progress on digitalization of the agriculture sector have done right. It analyzes which institutional and policy innovations were implemented and what actions were taken by the private sector and agtech start-ups to increase the development and use of digital tools and services in the agriculture value chain. Several of these can be brought to scale across the continent to help governments meet the targets and goals under the African Union Agenda 2063, the Malabo Declaration on agricultural transformation and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The objective of this report is to identify interventions that work and benefit farmers and other actors in the value chain and recommend options for policy and program innovation that allow countries to develop a “digitalization ecosystem” in which digital technologies and services can be developed and used to foster growth and competitiveness in Africa’s agriculture value chains.
The experience of the seven African countries analyzed in this report can help other African governments develop country-specific strategies to increase resilience and improve livelihoods in Africa’s rural communities and beyond. The Malabo Montpellier Panel has identified a set of policies and practices summarized below that, if brought to scale, could significantly improve the resilience and livelihoods of rural communities and spur overall agricultural growth and transformation in Africa.