Entries by Ian Randall


No more boring conferences – the ultimate coffee break

Complex, interconnected challenges demand new forms of collaboration and innovation between diverse partners. And yet, the many meetings and conferences that are supposed to create this collaboration continue to be managed in didactic formats, with a few dominant voices holding court whilst everyone else though present in body, is absent in mind,  awaiting the short […]

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Grow Africa – a multi-billion model worth replicating?

“Grow Africa, your immense contribution to African agriculture is exemplary.” Akin Adesina, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture  Grow Africa has received some remarkable and enthusiastic plaudits. Yet what is it about it that has enabled it to rapidly deliver change at scale, where so many others have failed? Grow Africa can claim some big numbers. In […]


Dr Kate Simpson joins Wasafiri as Head of Development

Wasafiri has recruited Dr Kate Simpson to be our Head of Development. She will lead an expansion of our work delivering change in Africa, and establish our office in Nairobi. Kate comes from Impact International, where she headed up their Relief and Development Group and was a consultant on leadership development, organisational change and sustainability for Impact’s corporate […]

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Solving the puzzle of parallel donor funding in Tanzania

The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) is an inclusive, multi-stakeholder partnership to rapidly develop the region’s agricultural potential. To advance this pioneering effort, the SAGCOT Centre was formed to provide coordination and facilitation for the partnership. For a development initiative, the SAGCOT Centre has an unusual governance structure that ensures it is genuinely […]

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Billions of investment committed into African farming

Since inception in 2012, Grow Africa has catalysed a historic shift in private-sector engagement in African agriculture, with partner companies announcing over $10 billion in planned investment aligned to the national development goals of twelve target countries. This intent has translated into action, with over $2.3 billion invested, creating 88000 jobs, and reaching over 10 million smallholders […]

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Coordinating donors behind Africa’s plan for agriculture

At the L’Aquila G8 Summit in 2009, African leaders called upon the international community to coordinate support for agriculture on the continent through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) as the leading African-owned initiative. They also called upon donors to do this in a manner embodying principles of aid effectiveness such as coordination, harmonisation, […]

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Forging an Alliance to end famine in the Horn of Africa and Sahel. Forever.

2011 saw the worst drought in 60 years for the Horn of Africa, affecting over 13 million people and leading to famine due to the combination of regional instability, weak governance, a fragile agricultural economy, and low resilience within communities. Six months later, a similar story unfolded in the Sahel, affecting a further 18 million […]


The right political moment ~ reflections from WEF Africa.

I recently returned from the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual Africa meeting in Cape Town. I attended to support a high-level meeting focussed on scaling-up public-private initiatives that will help smallholders become more commercially successful. The meeting was attended by Presidents and Ministers from governments across Africa; heads of international agencies such USAID, IFAD and […]

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Government leadership makes inspiring contribution to agriculture in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a pioneer of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), Africa’s plan to boost agricultural production and thereby tackle poverty and hunger. Of the 20+ countries that are active with CAADP, Sierra Leone is further advanced with implementation than all but 1 or 2 others. I have spent the last 3 days […]