The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

Retired President Kikwete Becomes Africa Food Prize Chairperson

Retired President, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, is now the new Chair of the Africa Food Prize.

Former Tanzanian Head of State takes over from the retired Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

Obasanjo, who has been serving as the AFP Chair since 2016 lauded the appointment saying that through his work, Kikwete has shown a genuine passion and dedication towards transforming Africa’s agriculture.

“I congratulate Kikwete on his appointment as Chair of the Africa Food Prize. Through his leadership, I am confident that the continent will continue to explore and implement food systems strategies to lift people from poverty,” Obasanjo stated.

This year’s winners of the Africa Food Prize will be named by the committee in Dar-es-salaam City during the AGRF, Africa’s Food Systems Forum 2023 which takes place in Tanzania next September.

Dr Kikwete was lauded as being a leading contributor to the transformation of Africa’s food systems.

During his tenure as President of Tanzania, Kikwete led the implementation of ‘Kilimo Kwanza’ (Swahili for Agriculture First), an initiative that unlocked productivity and profitability for the country’s smallholder farmers.

He also spearheaded the implementation of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), a public-private partnership aimed at unlocking more private sector investment in the country’s agricultural sector.

Later, through the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation, he has been collaborating with farmers and researchers to develop initiatives and strategic interventions to increase yield and productivity in smallholder farming and agribusiness.

His appointment coincides with the 2023 call for nominations for the USD 100,000 Africa Food Prize.

The Africa Food Prize is the preeminent award recognizing the extraordinary women, men, and institutions whose contributions to African agriculture are forging a new era of sustainable food security and economic opportunity that elevates all Africans.

This year, Nestlé partnered with the Africa Food Prize, contributing USD 108,400 which will go to the main award, and a special category focusing on innovations that advance regenerative food systems.

“We are excited to see how this year’s applicants for the Africa Food Prize are making a difference. Their research and innovation efforts will help drive the transformation of agriculture on the African continent, and we are proud to support this.”

Remy Ejel, Chief Executive Officer of Zone Asia, Oceania and Africa, Nestlé S.A.

In 2022, Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, a Ghanaian plant geneticist, won the award for his outstanding expertise, leadership and skills that led to the establishment and development of West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement.

WACCI is a world class centre for training plant breeders in Africa for Africa.

Through WACCI, Mr. Danquah’s innovations led to the creation of more than sixty improved seed varieties, including superior maize hybrid varieties, which continue to boost yield for farmers and contribute towards food and nutritional security in Ghana.

Organizations, institutions, businesses, and individuals who have created opportunities for Africa’s farmers to gain viable livelihoods from their trade can submit their nominations at before Monday, 16 May 2023.

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