The theme for the 2016 African Economic Conference (AEC) is "Feeding Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth". This theme is timely and in line with the current African and international development agenda. Ending poverty and overcoming hunger and food insecurity permanently come first and second, respectively, in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) endorsed in September 2015 by UN member States.
This commitment is also stressed by the African Union Agenda 2063 that recognizes the right of all Africans to be well-nourished and lead healthy and productive lives. Furthermore, the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), as well as the June 2014 Malabo declaration, highlight that a structural transformation of African agriculture is central to growth and poverty eradication on the continent.
Consistent with these goals, agriculture and industrialization are at the heart of the work by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and their vision and long-term strategy for a prospered and inclusive Africa.
Global experiences suggest that the attainment of food security requires high and sustained growth, underpinned by enhanced agriculture productivity and a sustainable structural change that includes the broader engagement of people. In particular, African countries need to revisit their agricultural policies and practices, while paving the way for an agro-allied industrial development.
The AEC will bring together policy-makers, researchers and development practitioners from Africa and from around the world to make strategic contributions for accelerating agro-allied industrial development. The Conference will provide an opportunity to assess the impact of current growth strategies in Africa; focusing on the agricultural and industrial sector.
In addition, the conference will discuss successes, lessons learned and identify remaining gaps, challenges and emerging issues on the topic. It will encompass in-depth presentations of policy-oriented research by both established academics and emerging researchers from the continent and beyond who will debate and recommend policy options on how to accelerate Africa's agricultural and industrial transformation.
Source and further information: African Economic Conference 2016