The search is on for the winner of the 2017 Africa Food Prize – the preeminent award that recognizes outstanding individuals or institutions that are leading the effort to change the reality of farming in Africa from a struggle to survive to a business that thrives.
Now in its second year, the US $100,000 prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agriculture agenda. It puts a bright spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity for all Africans.
In 2016, the inaugural Prize was awarded to Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, the outgoing President of the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), for his outstanding leadership and passionate advocacy in putting Africa´s smallholder farmers at the center of the global agricultural agenda. As one example, Dr. Nwanze was credited with reorienting IFAD´s work to focus more on making small-scale farming a viable business through a country-led approach to rural development, moving from one office on the continent just a decade ago to 40 country offices today. The Prize also acknowledged Nwanze´s courage in reminding African leaders to go beyond promising development and change to delivering it.
The 2017 winner will be chosen by the Africa Food Prize Committee, an independent body of preeminent leaders that is chaired by the former Nigerian President, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo. The other committee members are Prof. Calestous Juma, Dr. Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin, Prof. Joachim von Braun and Amb. Sheila Sisulu.
With the acknowledgement that no region of the world has developed a diverse, modern economy without first establishing a successful agriculture sector, the Africa Food Prize exists to reward individuals and institutions that are pioneering efforts to create prosperity in Africa. It is hoped that this will encourage others to follow their lead.
The Africa Food Prize began as the Yara Prize, and was established in 2005 by Yara International ASA in Norway to honor achievements in African agriculture. The Yara Prize recognized individuals from Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Mozambique for their success in making African farms more productive, profitable and resilient. Past winners include Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the former Nigerian Agriculture Minister who now heads the African Development Bank (AfDB); Dr. Agnes Kalibata, the former Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda who now serves as AGRA’s President; and Dr. Ousmane Badiane, Africa Director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
Moving the Yara Prize to Africa in 2016 and rechristening it the Africa Food Prize gave the award a distinctive African home, African identity and African ownership
The deadline for nominations is 05 June 2017 and the winner will be unveiled at a high-profile gala dinner at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), 4-8 September 2017 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.