What Participants Have to Say About the Conference
Participants are invited to send feedback about the 2020 Africa conference to email@example.com. Comments may be posted on the conference website. IFPRI reserves the right to edit or omit inappropriate content.
"As a parliamentarian, I am confident that I can contribute a lot to implement the conference resolutions. I will advocate for adequate allocations of national financing for agriculture in budget debates. I will follow up and evaluate the implementation of executive annual plans of the agricultural, trade and industry affairs committee in the House of Peoples Representatives ..."
"La surprise agréable à cette Conférence a été la technique de sondage d'opinion digitale auprès des participant(e)s qui permet d'évaluer la position globale des participant(e)s sur les questions clés..."
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"The conference did not give the necessary attention to the problem of developing country population pressure in relation to food security. I believe population pressure has great impact on food security..."
"This conference has to a larger extent enabled me to understand well the magnitude of the problems manifested by food and nutrition security in Africa thus, improving my skills in terms of investigating and analyzing such problems. These are benefits on the part of research activities. There are additional benefits related to my teaching career..."
"The fact that it was Pan-African was a plus, that North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa sat down together to discuss such issues of import to the continent was vanguard and I recommend this for future meetings..."
"At the Kampala conference, the voices of Africa were re-echoed but equally significant were the positive sentiments expressed by the eminent developed country participants even to the extent of being openly critical of the attitudes and policies of the developed world towards Africa and her problems. The discussions on free trade and the issue of agricultural subsidies are an important element of the conference..."
"As I stated in one of the discussion groups, the question of Food Security is, for all intents and purposes, a question of POVERTY ALLEVIATION or ERADICATION. Even in an individual country, like my own Tanzania, the prevalence of famine is basically a matter of poverty which is of course exacerbated when natural calamities of drought or floods etc. occur. Poverty reduction measures must therefore be implemented forcefully now, and in a genuinely committed fashion, not only in the rural areas, but also in urban centres, if we are to ensure food security..."
"We young people from Africa and the Forum for African Civil Society, of which I was one of the representatives, benefited significantly, and we are looking forward on the ways to implement the outcomes and resolutions of the conference and are resolved to get ourselves involved actively as partners in ensuring food security in Africa..."
"I have already communicated the outcome of the Conference to the Minister of Agriculture in Lesotho since I was the only participant from the Country...The important issues which I have picked for our discussion include... The initiation of a Mass campaign against hunger by empowering the small scale farmers who are more than 80% of the Country's population with knowledge and boost their ability to innovate with regard to food and nutrition security building upon Rural Self-help Development Association's experience in the Southern Districts..."
"For a long time in Africa there has been too many actors, trying to address same problems but never having a forum to bring their experiences together. This was an excellent conference in bringing different actors together, government, donor organizations and the likes of Wole Soyinka (among others) of literary arts, was quite a new experience especially to know how passionate they also are on the plight of Africa..."
"The nutrition aspect did not receive the attention it deserves and was not dealt with sufficiently. What kinds of interventions are needed? What is the level of the interventions? What intervention should be done in a specific structure or environment and how? What process(es) should be used in order to run them?..."
"The strength of the conference lay in the rich mixture of delegates from a political, academic, administrative and activist background, which certainly enhanced the quality of the debate. The weakness lay in the broad spectrum of issues covered, hence the inability to go into any issue in any real depth; and in the range of issues that were not covered, including hardly any mention of the livestock economy, too little emphasis on the successes in Africa, and too little recognition of the destructive role that the rich country agricultural subsidies play in African agriculture..."
"Several efforts have been made by the national governments and development partners; also a lot has been said about food insecurity in the last three to four decades. But the actual progress is very limited or, in some countries, even worsening. To me, the Kampala meeting kick-started us to rethink causes of past failure..."
"Just to say that the Conference was so impressive, all the topics covered were so relevant that I had to fill in my questionnaire on that very day. Thank you once again for the job well done..."
"My admiration for the impressive panel of speakers you had composed grew as the days unfolded and they delivered even more exciting, provocative and informative lectures and appeals to brains and hearts than I had expected. Your vision is certainly these days shared by so many influential and articulate people that it is hard to believe that "business as usual" will continue for long..."
"La Conférence Africa 2020 devrait être considérée comme un nouveau point de départ d'une véritable prise de conscience de la gravité de la situation et de l'urgence d'engager toute l'humanité dans une oeuvre d'envergure pour sauver notre continent d'une dérive que nous regretterons tous.."
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"Relatively little thought has been given as to how to bring about the social cohesion, trust, and collective will that are also necessary and what roles international partners can play alongside national actors. While there is now increasing talk about governance, participation, and empowerment, perhaps it is time to think more concretely about the social contract between citizens of a country, the role of social mobilization, and the importance of collective rather than political will..."
"I felt that the African leaders, beside their daily political duties should start to put serious measures that can enhance the fight against hunger and poverty in Africa, because without their contribution it will be difficult to attain sustainable solutions that can help to end hunger and poverty..."
"The IFAP farm leaders who were at the Conference all thought the event was very worthwhile, and that their voices were heard - at least in the meeting (the conclusions were probably written before the Conference started, since the need to build capacity in farmers' organisations was not highlighted in the conclusions, yet it was very prominent in the discussions)..."
"The Kampala conference was a great opportunity for me to learn from hundreds of Africans and others who are directly involved in building food security in Africa..."
"Despite the amazing meeting of hundreds of the best people working in development issues, I was left feeling sort of disappointed and not quite sure why. I suppose part of it might be my cynical nature and the disappointment that by the end of the conference most people shared my sentiments that Food and Nutrition Security will not be accomplished in Africa by the year 2020. I believe it is possible, such that I believe this is possible in a perfect world (yet I fear that is not the world we live in) but food and nutrition security are not easy to achieve under the best circumstances..."
"On the whole, the Conference organization, its coordination and the information flow through e-mail and the web site is what could be termed as a good "Conference Management Training" in itself. In passing, I might make the reflection that even though the pastoralist population in Africa is quite significant and the area they cover is quite extensive, the issue was not touched upon..."
"The Conference brought together the best minds working on food security in Africa. It presented us with the latest facts, and what needs to be done to overcome food insecurity. It made us up to date on the Millennium Development Goals, NEPAD and the work of the African Union. It also showed clearly that food insecurity is a political problem and that policy advocacy is important. Food security was highlighted from many angles, and this showed the complexity of the situation... "
"We all benefited a lot and the conference was a real success. We will do whatever possible to mainstream the conference outcomes. Thanks to you all... "
"It was very interesting to see how a seminar can induce a new dynamism (we hope). Nothing was really new for me on the scientific point of view, but the mixture of researchers, professionals, politicians was out of the ordinary. Specially I felt a good mutual listening and the desire of most of the participants to achieve discourses, for entering into Action..."
"I personally found the conference most rewarding and useful in pointing the way forward for achieving Food and Nutrition Security in Africa. The African Business Roundtable and NEPAD Business Group stand ready to partner with IFPRI and all stakeholders in implementing the actionable strategies put forward to ensure the realization of the conference objectives..."
"I was extremely impressed that three heads of state recognized the importance of the occasion and thus made time to attend the opening/closing of the workshop. That to me signifies considerable political will but that political will must be an extremely well informed and directed..."
"I very strongly believe that until enclaved areas in the various countries of Africa are provided with all-season roads so that they can have access to markets for both their outputs and needed inputs for agricultural production as well as schools and health facilities, the targets for food and nutrition security in Africa cannot be achieved..."
"The main future problem for the world is just how to make that desired change in Africa's agriculture, particularly that of producing and providing enough nutritious food to all households. Although this dimension was well portrayed by the conference and the inevitability of policy change and action agreed, the way forward with next steps, was not well-addressed or 'illuminated' for follow-up..."
"I heard a lot and saw many people and indeed have quite a few ideas to bring forward for consideration in the quest for sustained food availability and good nutrition in Africa, within the 2020 timeframe..."
"I have returned home with a very clear understanding of the link between food and nutrition security and tenure security..."
"I do not know what follow-up activities IFPRI has in mind but the conference itself, I believe, will make a significant difference in the lives of low-income Africans..."
"I want to thank you for the excellent organization of the conference. It was really a success..."
"It was a good meeting, and I believe it does indeed represent a significant starting point for the way forward in meeting the challenges identified..."
"The presidential speeches were phenomenal-full of information (especially the parts that were off-the-cuff) that is hard to get from any other sources..."
"This conference was really an excellent opportunity to interact with other researchers, policy makers and stakeholders..."
"It came out for me clearly that good policies are not sufficient by themselves. There should be some kind of synergy among natural resource conservation, production-growth and policy and we need to make optimal combination of this if we are ready to make a difference..."
"The strength of the conference was just that broad exposure, one got updated on so many key issues... The downside of the broad coverage was that many issues could only be dealt with in a rather superficial way..."
"It was refreshing and important to see the aspect of nutrition really being highlighted..."
"HIV/AIDS was recognized as a key determinant in present and future food security. One of the issues for a child-focused organization is that the peak for number of orphans is reached at about 15 years after the prevalence of HIV has peaked. This means that we are not even seeing the tip of the iceberg as far as impact on food production in Africa..."
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