H.E. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan Former President Federal Republic of Nigeria has confirmed attendance as a Keynote Speaker for the 1st African Conference of Agricultural Technology (ACAT) which we will be hosting in Nairobi from October 30 to November 2, 2023.
A trained biologist and a proponent for agricultural technologies, he has firmly stood by his word that Africa needs technologies to improve agricultural productivity.
His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is the former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2010 to 2015. He began his political career in 1999 when he was first elected Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State and was decorated with the Best Performing Deputy Governor Award by the Institute of Public Administrators of Nigeria in 2002. He later became the Governor of Bayelsa State and subsequently became the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria before winning the Presidential elections on May 6, 2010.
As President he worked with other heads of states in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve political crises and stabilize democracies in countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, and Togo. His commitment towards bringing peace and stability to Africa during his tenure gave the country more recognition in the United Nations Security Council.
Former President Jonathan made history by becoming the first Sub-Saharan African leader to be appointed to the International Advisory Board of the European Corporate Council on Africa and the Middle East.
Since leaving office in 2015, Dr. Jonathan has remained committed to promoting democracy, peace, and respect for the rule of law in Africa. He is the Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation- an organization founded to promote best practices in democracy and peace building in Africa. He is also the Convener of the West African Elders Forum, a peacebuilding and mediation platform comprising of former presidents and eminent leaders from the region to address election-related violence and other socio-political crises. In addition, He has led several International Election Observation Missions between 2015 and 2023 to Tanzania, Zambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Mozambique, The Gambia, Kenya Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and Zimbabwe
In 2019, he emerged Chairperson of the African Chapter of the International Summit Council for Peace, an association of serving and former Presidents who are jointly working to bring peace, stability, and economic prosperity to the world.
In May and July 2020, he was appointed as a Member of the Kofi Annan Foundation Electoral Integrity Initiative Senior Panel and as the ECOWAS Special Envoy to head its mediation mission to resolve the socio-political crisis in Mali, respectively. In 2021 ECOWAS appointed Dr. Jonathan as Chair of the Council of the Wise.
An avid farmer, Dr. Jonathan is a Life Patron and Fellow of various societies including the Nigerian Environmental Society, the Fisheries Society of Nigeria, Public Administrators of Nigeria, International Association of Impact Assessment, Institute of Corporate Affairs Management as well as Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International.
Dr. Jonathan holds Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Zoology, Hydrobiology and Fisheries Biology, respectively, all from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Welcome to ACAT.
Board Chair, AATF
Agriculture continues to play a pivotal role in meeting the food needs of a growing global African population that is estimated to reach 1.8 billion by 2035.
African countries are making remarkable progress in the adoption of improved agricultural technologies that are bolstering the food and nutrition security resolve and overcoming farm productivity constraints with smallholder farmers’ livelihoods being transformed through agricultural innovations.
Despite such progress, agriculture in Africa is characterized by low productivity, with increasing vulnerability to climate change, accelerated land degradation, and global market shocks exposing farmers to food insecurity. Farmers’ vulnerability is exacerbated by a lack of enabling environments, limited extension services, poor market access, and limited financial support among others, and, crucially, low adoption and use of improved agricultural technologies.
The adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices, such as the use of drought-tolerant crops and conservation farming techniques, will help farmers to adapt to changing climatic conditions and reduce their vulnerability to climate-related risks. Precision agriculture technologies such as drones, Global Positioning System mapping, and sensors can assist farmers in optimizing their use of resources, such as water, fertilizer, and pesticides, thus reducing waste and improving efficiency.
NextGen technologies have demonstrated the potential to deliver a transformative agriculture to the continent. They not only improve crop yields, reduce the risk of crop failure, and result in an increase in farmer incomes, but also create new opportunities for farmers due to their robustness to adapt to different agroecological zones.
As delegates gather for the premier African Conference on Agricultural Technologies (ACAT), it is my hope that the gathering will intensify the conversation on diversification of agricultural technologies and expanding frontiers for NextGen products in Africa, acceleration of commercialization and scaling of agricultural technologies, and promotion of a functional enabling environment for increased uptake of agricultural technologies and efficient markets while transforming economies.
Diversifying agricultural technologies and expanding frontiers for next-gen products in African technology access and delivery requires a functional enabling environment. This can be amplified through creating awareness, capacity strengthening, information sharing, and collaboration, and gatherings like ACAT are positioning themselves to do just that.
A prosperous, resilient, food and nutrition-secure Africa is possible through innovative agricultural technologies. Let us work together to actualize this resolve.
Executive Director, AATF
On behalf of AATF, I would like to invite you to participate in the 1st African Conference of Agricultural Technology (ACAT) which we will be hosting in Nairobi from October 30 to November 2, 2023. This is AATF’s flagship platform and through it, we are looking to provide an opportunity for stakeholders, who are keen on progressing the continent’s socio-economic development, food and nutrition security through the development and commercialization of innovative agriculture technologies, to convene, deliberate and come up with solutions to the challenges they face.
AATF is at the forefront of facilitating access, development, and commercialization of agricultural technologies that help to address the multiple stressors facing farmers in Africa. These stressors include population expansion, climate change, and the resistance to crop pests and diseases. It is important to highlight that technology development has steadily grown but diffusion of products by beneficiaries is still an area that needs attention if investments in the sector are to bear fruit. We recognize that public participation and an enabling and sustainable policy environment are important to enable decision-makers and government institutions across the continent to make informed choices regarding the use of agricultural technology which is critical not only for food security but also for intra-country and cross-border value chain optimization and commerce.
AATF facilitates the creation of a responsive, receptive, science-based, legal, regulatory, and commercial environment that delivers safe and effective technologies to market while protecting human health and the environment and this new conference provides an opportunity to discuss how to scale and enhance the impact of agricultural technologies with an aim of transforming the sector. Adoption of these innovative cutting-edge agricultural technologies in Africa that contribute to addressing the multiple emerging and recurrent production challenges is paramount. These new technologies also enhance productivity and bolster the African economy by empowering farmers to transform their livelihoods.
We look forward to your participation in this inaugural event as we seek to transform Africa’s agriculture.
See you at ACAT in October!
We welcome you to Nairobi for the African Conference of Agricultural Technology (ACAT), to be held from 30th October – 3rd November 2023 here in Nairobi, Kenya themed Agricultural Resilience through Innovation. We consider it an honour and privilege to have been selected to host this inaugural Conference and look forward to warmly welcoming the delegates from around the world. Come prepared to enjoy a taste of the globally acclaimed Kenyan hospitality!
The conference themes will revolve around areas that will make a contribution to the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and continental agendas, such as the Africa Union Agenda 2063 and in particular the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP). All these aim to end hunger and reduce poverty by spurring economic growth through agriculture-led development and encourage increased national budget allocation to the agriculture sector.
The Conference will also provide a platform to discuss the state of science, technology, and innovation (STI) in Africa, including policy, practice, and opportunity, as well as the sharing of upto date information and lessons on cutting-edge agricultural technology, notably biotechnology. It will also put a spotlight on projects and opportunities that can be initiated to advance Africa’s economic growth and prosperity. These will also be the subject of talks in deal rooms between AATF, African government representatives, research partners, donors, and technology owners.
We look forward to hosting our regional and international guests in Nairobi for this four-day conference as we deliberate and chart the way forward to develop and facilitate the adoption of innovative solutions to address emerging and recurrent challenges in agricultural technology.