Shaping the Future of Food Markets in Africa

What kind of markets do we need for the transition to agroecology?

The 3rd AFSA Biennial Food Systems Conference and Celebration

Venue

Online (Zoom)

Date

27th-29th October, 2020

About the Food Systems Conference & Celebration

Markets are where food producers and consumers meet. They are a vital connection between our food and our planet. Markets are where food is traded and where ideas and cultures mix – but often markets do not work for producers and consumers.

The climate emergency and the pandemic are highlighting that we need new approaches to the way food is processed, distributed and traded. In addition, we want to show how traditional and informal African markets are neglected and how strengthening them is a critical part of the transition to agroecology.

This conference will lay out the challenges facing African markets, shape the markets we want to see in the future, and work out how to get there. It will be the first of its kind in delivery, content and participation, with thousands of participants engaging across the discussions, competitions and celebrations before and during the conference.

The Conference starts in...

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Our Speakers

Mariama Sonko

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Elizabeth Mpofu

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Charles Dhewa

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Mamadou Goita

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Jen Astone

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Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Prof Olivier de Schutter

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Mariam Mayet

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Nnimmo Bassey

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Dr Bethule Nyamambi

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Dr Chris Macoloo

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Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Dr Million Belay

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Dr Lailà Lokosang

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Pat Mooney

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Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson

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Dr Scott Drimie

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Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Dr Allison Marie Loconto

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Susan Nakacwa

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Cecilia Onyango

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Appolinaire Oussou Lio

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Andrew Bennie

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Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Fatimah Kelleher

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Dr. Naudé Malan

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Bibi Giyose

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Anne Maina

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Hervé Bouagnimbeck

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The Conference Agenda

Over three days the conference will focus on

1. Understanding African markets and trends

2. Shaping the future of markets for the transition to agroecology

3. Changing policy towards markets for heathy food systems

Day 1: Understanding African markets and trends

Together we will seek answers to the questions:

  • What are the most important characteristics of African Markets? And their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do we see as the characteristics of African markets of the future in the transition to agroecology? 

Day 2: Shaping the future of markets for the transition to agroecology

Together we will seek answers to the questions:

  • What are the key changes that need to happen to strengthen African markets for the transition to agroecology?
  • How can the strengthening of African Markets promote/protect farmers’ and consumers’ rights?
  • What are the enablers and hindrances to the expansion and success of African Markets?

Day 3: Changing policy towards markets for heathy food systems

Together we will seek answers to the questions:

  • How can we illustrate to key decision-makers that African markets are an integral part of resilient food systems?
  • What kind of investment is needed to strengthen African markets for the transition to agroecology?
  • What should AFSA be focusing on in the next 5 years to strengthen agroecological markets

Register for the conference and celebration here

Celebrating African food and markets

We have curated a diverse range of film, photography and art projects, youth messages, celebrations and journalism from across the continent as part of the conference.

Children envision the future of markets

25 schools in 10 countries are competing to provide 60-second video messages on the solutions to problems in African informal markets. The big question: “How can African markets work better for our families and our farmers?” The best video messages will win awards and be shared across social media.

Telling market stories

Journalists from 12 countries are commissioned to write market and food-related stories. The stories will explore agroecological markets and identify the main challenges and opportunities. The stories will be synthesised for a meta-story and published online.

Art and photography

Visual artists and photographers will express their understanding of markets and their linkage to healthy food. Their art will be exhibited throughout the celebration and shared across social media platforms.

Celebrating seed and food

Community Seed and Food Celebrations will stream from eight countries in South, East, West, Central, and North Africa, showing how seeds, food, cultural knowledge and food markets are an important part of our lives.

2-minute film competition

All storytellers are invited to take part in a mobile film competition to help reimagine the future of food markets in Africa. These real stories, about real people shot through accessible technology will provide hope and inspiration.

The Programme

Art celebration starts 14:00 in East Africa, 13:00 in Southern & Central Africa, 11:00 in West Africa

Conference starts 15:00 in East Africa, 14:00 in Southern & Central Africa, 12:00 in West Africa

Please Note: All programme times are East Africa time (GMT+3)

TIME

East Africa Time (GMT+3)


 

DAY ONE: LEARN


 

14:00-15:00 (1 hour)


 

Films & celebrations

Short films, children’s stories, photography, seed and food celebrations from across the continent

Famara Diédhiou (ASFA), Senegal
Leonida Odongo (Fahamu), Kenya


 

15:00-15:10 (10 mins)


 

Opening ceremony

Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson (PELUM-Zimbabwe), Zimbabwe


 

15:10-15:15 (5 mins)


 

Stories from the field

Mariama Sonko (We are the Solution), Senegal


 

15:15-15:30 (15 mins)


 

Official welcome

Dr Chris Macoloo, AFSA Chairperson (World Neighbours) (7 mins)

Purpose and programme of the conference

Dr Million Belay, AFSA, General Coordinator (7 mins)


 

15:30-15:45


 

FAO address

Allison Loconto, Sustainable Innovations and Trade Expert, FAO (5 mins)


 

Official opening speech

Dr Lailà Lokosang, Advisor for Food and Nutrition Security, African Union (5 mins)


 

15:45-15:50


 

Short film


 

15:50-16:10 (20 mins)


 

Keynote address 1: Seeding food systems and indigenous commerce in African mass markets

Charles Dhewa (Knowledge Transfer Africa), Zimbabwe

African mass food markets are not just foundations of local thriving economies. They are vessels for liberating African agriculture from neo-liberalism. This conversation will take listeners through the rich characteristics of diverse African mass markets starting from West Africa, coming down to Southern Africa, up to East Africa and North Africa.


 

16:10-16:25 (15 mins)


 

Supermarkets out of Africa! Food systems across the continent are doing just fine without them

Susan Nakacwa (GRAIN), Uganda

The report explores the liberalization of the food sector through free trade agreements, the rapid growth of supermarkets, the push for processed food, sidelining agroecologically produced food, harming smallholder farmers and informal trade. The full paper can be found here: https://grain.org/e/6042


 

16:25-16:30 (5 mins)


 

Afternoon programme

Anne Maina, (BIBA Kenya)


 

BREAK (10 mins)


 

16:40 - 17:25


 

DISCUSSION SESSION 1 (45 mins)

Moderator: John Wilson & AFSA members

A chance for you to participate by sharing your experience, questions, issues and opportunities in groups of 8 to 10 people. This will help AFSA develop a clear way forward to transform marketing on the continent as part of the transition to agroecology.

Day 1: The strengths and weaknesses of existing African markets and what markets of the future look like as we transition to agroecology.


 

17:25-17:45 (20 mins)


 

Plenary remarks from discussion session


 

17:45-17:50


 

Introduction and directions to the three parallel side events


 

17:50-18:30 (40 mins)


 

Parallel side event 1A

Harnessing technology to link small-scale or emerging producers directly to markets

Moderator: Mariam Mayet (African Centre for Biodiversity), Speaker 1: Abalobi

An app that allows consumers to responsibly source and track seafood direct from traditional fishers in South Africa.

Speaker 2: Meat Naturally (TBC)

Meat Naturally partners with NGOs to offer rural farmers formal training on regenerative grazing techniques, rangeland restoration practices, cattle management, stock theft patrol, and predator control.. In exchange for training, equipment and market access, farmers commit to preserving rangelands and providing quality meat products that are sustainably produce.


 

Parallel side event 1B

Topic

Moderator: Ibrahima Coulibaly, (CNOP), Mali

Speaker 1: Pat Mooney, ETC Group


 

Parallel side event 1C

Revitalisation of indigenous and African food cultures

Moderator: Andrew Bennie (African Centre for Biodiversity), South Africa

Speaker 1: Bibi Giyosi (NEPAD), Botwana

Topic description

Speaker 2: Cecilia Onyango, (Barefoot Guide), Kenya

Indigenous foods in Africa are prominent cultural signifiers for the various ethnic groups. There has been a steady shift from traditional/indigenous production and eating patterns to “modern” patterns. This discussion reflects on a re-awakening on agro-ecological production, consumption and marketing of indigenous/African foods.


 

TIME

East Africa Time (GMT+3)


 

DAY TWO: VISION


 

14:00-15:00 (1 hour)


 

Films & celebrations


 

15:00-15:05 (5 mins)


 

Mystica

Appolinaire Oussou Lio, Benin


 

15:05-15:10 (5 mins)


 

Stories from the field

Nnimmo Bassey (Health of Mother Earth Foundation), Nigeria


 

15:10-15:15 (5 mins)


 

Introducing the day's programme & recap

Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson


 

15:15-15:30 (15 mins)


 

Small-scale producers challenging industrial marketing in Senegal

Mariama Sonko (We are the Solution), Senegal

Mariama tells the story of the production and marketing of Sum Pak, a range of stock cubes made from spices and natural local products. Launched in Casamance, South Senegal, by the rural women's movement Nous Sommes la Solution (We are the Solution), Sum Pak was created as a healthy agroecological alternative to the widespread use of industrial stock cubes.


 

15:30-15:45 (15 mins)


 

Insights from a long term study of informal markets in Zimbabwe - how small markets outcompete supermarkets.

Clever Mukove (Knowledge Transfer Africa), Zimbabwe

While African policy makers have embraced the supermarketization of agricultural commodities, small markets that speak to ordinary people’s daily needs seem to be giving supermarkets a run for their money. Besides ensuring nutritional diversity, informal markets demonstrate the importance of protecting and supporting informal channels on which the majority depend for their food and income.


 

15:45-16:00 (15 mins)


 

The role of markets in promoting sustainable food systems

Mamadou Goïta (AFSA; Institute for Research and Promotion of Alternatives in Development), Mali


 

16:00-16:15 (15 mins)


 

Agroecological enterprises inspire change

Jen Astone (Integrated Capital Investing), USA

Local food markets in Africa represent a huge opportunity for farmers, food entrepreneurs and investors. Based on data from ongoing action research, Jen will share examples and initial learnings about businesses and investors engaging in the transition to agroecology. The focus will be on small and medium enterprise development.


 

16:15-16:30 (15 mins)


 

Moderated Q&A

Moderator: Fassil Gebeyehu (ABN), Ethiopia


 

BREAK (10 mins)


 

16:40-16:50


 

Presentation of Day 1 Synthesis (10 mins)

Moderator: John Wilson & AFSA members


 

16:50-17:30


 

DISCUSSION SESSION 2 (40 mins)

Moderators: John Wilson & AFSA members

A chance for you to participate by sharing your experience, questions, issues and opportunities in groups of 8 to 10 people. This will help AFSA develop a clear way forward to transform marketing on the continent as part of the transition to agroecology.

Day 2: Strengthening of African markets, linked to farmers’ and consumers’ rights; and identifying helping and hindering factors behind successfully expanding African markets.


 

17:30-17:45


 

Plenary remarks from discussion session & afternoon programme (15 mins)


 

17:45-17:50


 

Introduction and directions to the three parallel side events


 

17:50-18:30 (40 mins)


 

Parallel side event 2A

Practical insights: building local markets in the age of big retail

Moderator: Sabrina Masinjila (African Centre for Biodiversity), Tanzania

Speaker 1: Susan Nakacwa (GRAIN), Uganda

This presentation will showcase "food scandals" that GRAIN and the Citizens and Agroecology working group have worked on mapping in 2020.

Speaker 2: Thomas Reardon


 

Parallel side event 2B

Supporting the farmer: Building new value chains for agroecological produce

Moderator: Mariam Mayet (African Centre for Biodiversity), South Africa

Speaker 1: Charles Dhewa (Knowledge Transfer Africa), Zimbabwe

Unless there is a reliable market, farmers practising ecological-sensitive agriculture may not see the value of their hard work. Thankfully, efforts to build local markets are gaining traction in some districts of Zimbabwe. This discussion will focus on intentional initiatives that are underway in Chimanimani and Mt Darwin districts.

Speaker 2: Hervé Bouagnimbeck (Groupement d’appui pour le développement durable - GADD), Cameroon

Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are valuable locally focused systems for organic farmers to demonstrate the organic quality of their production to their buyers at an affordable cost. Through practical realities of a PGS in Cameroon, this discussion will focus on what it takes to mobilize and organize farmers for the development of PGS.


 

Parallel side event 2C

Talk title (TBC)

Moderator: Luke Metelerkamp, Rhodes University, South Africa

Speaker 1: Scott Drimie, (Southern Africa Food Lab), South Africa

Topic description


 

TIME

East Africa Time (GMT+3)


 

DAY THREE: ACT


 

14:00-15:00 (1 hour)


 

Country celebrations

Seed and food celebrations from across the continent


 

15:00-15:05 (5 mins)


 

Mystica

Injairu Kulundu (TBC)


 

15:05-15:10 (5 mins)


 

Stories from the field

Elisabeth Mpofu (La Via Campesina), Zimbabwe


 

15:10-15:15 (5 mins)


 

Introducing the day's programme & recap

Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson


 

15:15-15:35 (20 mins)


 

Keynote address 4

Changing policy towards markets for heathy food systems 

Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Belgium


 

15:35-16:30 (55 mins)


 

The Africa we want: Shaping policies for sustainable agroecological markets (Panel discussion)

Moderator: Bethule Nyamambi (Trust Africa), Zimbabwe

Andrew Bennie (African Centre for Biodiversity), South Africa

Mamadou Goita (AFSA; IRPAD), Mali
Charles Dhewa (Knowledge Transfer Africa), Zimbabwe

There is a need for a democratic discussion on the political economy of African food markets as well as the political choices we make to transform to more sustainable and healthy food systems. The panel will discuss the opportunities and challenges for translating the reality of African food markets into public policies that enable sustainable food markets.


 

BREAK (10 mins)


 

16:40-17:40


 

Presentation of Day 2 Synthesis (10 mins)

Moderator: John Wilson & AFSA members

DISCUSSION SESSION 3: Actions (50 mins)

A chance for you to participate by sharing your experience, questions, issues and opportunities in groups of 8 to 10 people. This will help AFSA develop a clear way forward to transform marketing on the continent as part of the transition to agroecology.

Day 3: Influencing policy and attracting the right kind of investment to strengthen African markets. What should be AFSA’s focus? 


 

17:40-18:20


 

The Way Forward (40 mins)

Moderators: Dr Million Belay


 

18:20-18:25


 

Official thanks

Dr Chris Macoloo, AFSA Chairperson


 

18:25-18:30


 

Closing ceremony

Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson


 

Supported by

Shaping the Future of Food Markets in Africa: what kind of markets do we need for the transition to agroecology?

Date

27th-29th October, 2020

Register for the conference and celebration here