Revolutionizing Food Security in Africa

Stanford’s Center on Food Security and the Environment launches new symposium series focused on global food security with panel exploring Africa’s agricultural potential.

Food security experts from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) will gather at Stanford for meetings and a symposium on transforming food production on that continent. R.S.V.P by Nov. 28 for Symposium: Can Africa rise to the challenge of feeding itself in the 21st century? | Nov. 29

Organized by the Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE), the Nov. 29 symposium is the first in the center’s new Global Food Security Symposium series. Panel members include visiting AGRA board members, who will examine the challenges, strategies, and possible solutions for catalyzing and sustaining an inclusive agriculture transformation in Africa. This symposium marks the third series established by FSE convening thought leaders addressing global food security issues.

Afflicted by conflict, political upheaval, and extreme weather patterns Africa continues to experience the highest occurrence of food insecurity. However, with over 60 percent of the worlds uncultivated but fertile land, there is significant room for improvement. AGRA formed in 2006 to fulfill the vision that Africa can feed itself and the world. As an alliance led by Africans with roots in farming communities across the continent, they work to understand the unique needs of farmers and offer sustainable solutions designed to boost production.

In a region with 27.4 percent of the population currently experiencing food insecurity, creating a sustainable agricultural revolution remains a key solution to improving food security across the area. Moderated by Ertharin Cousin, previous World Food Programme director, with 25 years of experience on hunger, food, and resilience strategies, the panel will explore how an agricultural transformation in Africa can sustain a growing population, relieve hunger, generate jobs, improve social cohesion, and create global exports.

Panel members include:
Ertharin Cousin (moderator), Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Visiting Fellow at the Center on Food Security and the Environment, former US Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.


Agnes Kalibata, the President of AGRA and former Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda.

Kanayo F. Nwanze, the immediate past president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), winner of the Africa Food Prize in 2016, AGRA board member.

Rajiv Shah, Rockefeller Foundation President, former Administer of USAID (2010-15) where he led bipartisan reform and expansion of US efforts combating global food insecurity. During his previous work at the Gates Foundation he helped launched AGRA.

Usha Barwale Zehr, Director and Chief Technology Officer at Maharashtra – one of India’s largest and most successful multinational seed companies – and AGRA board member.

This is the first installment of the Global Food Security Symposium series hosted by Stanford University's Center on Food Security and the Environment and generously supported by Zach Nelson and Elizabeth Horn. FSE is a joint initiative of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.