The second edition of AfricaDays, hosted by Europe’s top business school, HEC Paris, put the spotlight on agriculture in Africa. On April 3, Africa’s main economic actors met on campus to discuss the most pressing issues in African agriculture and the solutions needed to answer the challenges they pose.
Experts such as Jean-Luc François (AFD), Patrick Caron (CIRAD), Thierry Blandinières (InVivo), shared their experiences with visiting guests, including Karim Lofti Senhadj, OCP Africa Managing Director, Henriette Gomis Billon, General Secretary of the SIFCA Foundation of Côte d'Ivoire and Bruno Mettling, CEO of Orange Africa. They were among the hundreds of participants who attended the groundbreaking event which focused on the theme "What future for African agriculture? The green revolution 2.0 ".
Agriculture is the continent's largest economy, employing 65% of the active population. It is also a sector with is a crucial stake in the future of the planet. Indeed, at present, the African continent has 1.2 billion inhabitants, a figure set to reach to 2.5 billion people in 2050.
The debates were enriched by the the work done by three students from the HEC Paris Master in Management. Entitled The Seed Project, and backed by the OCP Group, the trio traveled the world during their gap year (Africa, India, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, United States), in search of the key factors for successful companies in the agricultural sector. AfricaDays’s panel discussion highlighted how technological innovation can play a key role in unlocking Africa's agricultural potential and developing a new production model with positive economic and societal impact.
This year’s HEC-OCP Award went to ACRE Africa, a Kenyan startup rewarded for its innovations in crop insurance.
"We encourage new initiatives to improve the quality of African production and harvests. Africa has 65% of the world's uncultivated arable land, and is still struggling to feed its people. The HEC-OCP Prize aims to provided financial and technical resources to innovators to think and develop solutions made-in-Africa ”, said Karim Lotfi Senhadji.
"HEC Paris' commitment to Africa is a long-term one. We are a partner of African economies, providing our expertise and contributing to the training of future decision-makers in Africa and its diaspora. The yearlong AfricaDays events are excellent opportunities to combine skills and knowledge of the field. They are also platforms to bring together and give thought to those who have the means to change policies and mentalities ," said François Collin, International Director of HEC Paris.
HEC Paris wants to make the annual Africadays meetings the place of productive and sustainable exchanges between decision-makers and innovators on African themes. The 2017 edition, organized over three days, had more than 2,400 participants.
Sophie Garnichat - HEC Paris - 01.39.67.94.03. - firstname.lastname@example.org