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 in 2015 with new contracts, sourcing, services or training.
Wasafiri has been instrumental in the conception and implementation of Grow Africa. In 2011, Wasafiri realised that while CAADP – the African Union’s plan for transforming agriculture – was making progress with the public sector, it risked stalling unless its aspired private-sector response was triggered. At the same time, the World Economic Forum’s private sector-led “New Vision for Agriculture” was calling for transformative multi-stakeholder partnerships, but needed government counterparts to provide political leadership to advance enabling environment improvements.
Wasafiri connected these two efforts and Grow Africa was born as a partnership platform to accelerate investments for sustainable growth in African agriculture. Convened by the AUC, the NEPAD Agency, and the World Economic Forum, Grow Africa generates concrete commitments by companies for inclusive and responsible agri-investment, and facilitates multi-stakeholder collaboration to ensure this investment delivers shared value, as both commercial returns and a beneficial impact on jobs, incomes, and food security.
In addition, the Grow Africa Investment Forum offers a flagship annual event, bringing together Heads of State, Agriculture Ministers, leaders from business, farmers and civil society, and G8 Development Ministers to report on progress, highlight challenges, and showcase opportunities for investment and partnership (see video).
Grow Africa has contracted Wasafiri to provide programme support since its inception, including:
Strategy development, team coordination and programme management
Stakeholder engagement, especially with farmer organisations, domestic companies, African institutions and donors
Facilitation and communication support at Grow Africa Investment Forums, including event reports
Managing stakeholder engagement in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda and Malawi.
For Wasafiri, Grow Africa provides evidence that our approach to systemic change works. Grow Africa’s alignment of political and commercial interests and its unprecedented cross-sectoral collaboration have combined to generate the commitment, intelligence, direction and action required to deliver change at scale.