Agriculture presents tremendous potential for the continent. Agriculture and agribusiness sectors are currently worth $300bn in Africa. These sectors are set to evolve into a market worth $1tn by 2030. Africa has 60% of the world’s available arable land and generally favourable conditions for agriculture, which establishes an obvious competitive advantage for the continent and motivation for private sector investment.
Furthermore, Africa accounts for 75% of the world’s cocoa production; split into 65% from Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana alone among others. However, the continent receives only 2% of the $100bn annual revenues from global sales of chocolate and cocoa related products.
Empirical information shows that to achieve food security and realise the high profitability potential for agriculture in Africa, visionary leadership and greater private sector participation is necessary to effect efficient agribusiness value chains.
With its comparative advantage in agriculture, it is not appalling that the continent has an annual food import bill above $40bn. Utilizing the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population, the agriculture sector can amass a wide scope for growth and development, and create millions of jobs needed for the youth.
Therefore, it is expected of policymakers to accommodate a dynamic private sector for driving greater investments in agriculture. This development will not only maximize a promising economic sector but will also help meet the SDGs and the Africa 2063 agenda. Private sector intervention in the African agricultural space is necessary for job creation and integrating Africa into the global agricultural value chain. This integration can be ensured by focusing on issues of trade and markets, industrialisation and infrastructure development, and human and institutional development. This will lead to the development of effective and capable institutions in Africa, sustainable food systems and the empowerment of rural communities and stir up further entrepreneurial ambitions in the agricultural space. Thus, bringing into a full-circle, positive impact on nutrition, employment, food safety and waste management.