AGRICTECH

Covid 19, Innovation and the Future of Africa’s Agriculture?
Let’s take a walk...

The Covid 19 pandemic adds to the already wicked problems faced in the agriculture sector in African countries; ranging from climate complexities, natural disasters, to institutional inefficiencies. Indeed, much progress is being made by African countries to ensure sufficiency in local food production. However a key matter of interest is the sustainability of existing frameworks been deployed to ensure food production and security. The recent pandemic and the disruption of food supply and value addition processes makes it critical to discuss socio-technical propositions and approaches and how these can sustain the sector in Africa now and beyond. Clearly, the absence of a clear regional path to transforming the sector through innovation and technology has stifled efforts to transform the sector through innovation and technology. What we see are disjointed actions without long term strategic plans with interests stoked only by political motivations.
Image Depicting Food Being Packed into Car
A key observation during the period is the ingenuity exhibited by Africa’s youth in innovating to help manage the spread of the pandemic and its dire consequences; suggesting that Africa’s problem is not the lack of innovative ideas but rather the absence of a bridge-of-connect to birthing transformative ideas into products and services. By far, Africa has the youngest youthful population in the world and is growing so fast. By 2025, the continent’s youthful population is expected to more than double the 2015 figure of 226 million. Yet this window of opportunity is as yet to be recognised with intentional political, social and economic set-ups to leapfrog its economies into competitive alternatives globally.

In the Agriculture sector, digital innovation spearheaded by young African entrepreneurs has shone the light unto the unearth potential that the region stands to benefit from should the enabling environment be created. However, key questions emerging are: what can be done differently? Who should be responsible for what? What promises pathways can be tabled in this regard?

In this blog series, we will be discussing these and many more…Join us as we take this walk.
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