Robynne Anderson's Emerging Thoughts on Ag

Keith Polo Addresses the Plenary

Keith Polo. Country Lead for Malawi for the Clinton Foundation.

Keith Polo. Country Lead for Malawi for the Clinton Foundation.

Thank you Madam Chair.

My name is Keith Polo, I am the country lead for Malawi for the Clinton Foundation. My role is focused on building partnerships and facilitating investments in Africa.

In Africa perhaps more than anywhere else, agriculture holds the key to broad-based economic growth, poverty reduction and food security. Agriculture generates on average 25% of GDP– and much more in many countries. The broader agribusiness sector, including input supply, processing and retailing, is estimated to account for close to half of GDP.

Leveraging the potential of agriculture requires significant increases in investments, both public and private. Out of the 83 billion dollars required annually to feed 9 billion people in 2050, 11 billion dollars would be needed in Africa.

We need to see more investment that supports growth, food security and nutrition. And we hope that we are at a turning point where it becomes clear that business plays an integral role in delivering economic and social progress.

In reality, we are already seeing a tremendous increase in investments in Africa. But it is not only an increase in investment, but also the emergence of new business models.

Novel partnerships that build on the synergies and complementarity of different actors are gaining ground. These partnerships combine public sector investment, philanthropy investments and commercial ventures. They build on differentiated skill sets, cost efficiencies, scale, and combine multiple sources of investments.

We are moving away from a model where partnership meant simply funding of one party by another. The new investment models allow partners to create a value proposition that individually they would not achieve.

We welcome the responsible agriculture investment principles and we believe they are well aligned with the direction in which businesses are going. We hope they provide a source of guidance for investors in Africa, and complement the efforts undertaken under CAADP to increase investments in agriculture.

Thank you Madame Chair.