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Who We Are

Who We Are

The Grow Africa partnership was founded jointly by the African Union (AU), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency) and the World Economic Forum in 2011. Grow Africa works to increase private sector investment in agriculture, and accelerate the execution and impact of investment commitments. The aim is to enable countries to realize the potential of the agriculture sector for economic growth and job creation, particularly among farmers, women and youth.

Grow Africa facilitates collaboration between governments, international and domestic agriculture companies, and smallholder farmers in order to lower the risk and cost of investing in agriculture, and improve the speed of return to all stakeholders. Grow Africa helps establish value chain specific multi-stakeholder partnerships at the national level and engages locally through these companies.  The broader Grow Africa network includes farmer, civil society, development, and research organizations.

Grow Africa’s work is fully anchored within the national and continental policy architecture of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which to improve food and nutrition security, and increase incomes in Africa’s largely farming-based economies. CAADP, which is a NEPAD Agency programme, aims to achieve this by raising agricultural productivity and increasing public and private investment in agriculture.

Grow Africa is headquartered at the NEPAD Agency offices in Johannesburg and operates under the leadership of the NEPAD Agency Chief Executive Officer who reports into a Steering Committee comprised of members of Grow Africa’s core stakeholder groups. A secretariat team based in Johannesburg provides services across Grow Africa’s member countries.

What we do

Grow Africa is a convener and catalyst. We bring together the stakeholders necessary to make private sector investment effective. We incubate and support platforms and business models that enable those stakeholders to work together. We also play an important role in disseminating knowledge and best practice on making responsible agricultural investments work on the ground.

We do not have an implementation or project management role, but work with technical partners who implement the projects we initiate or support. Nor do we provide funding for projects – as a convener, we help partners to connect and develop collaborations, and support the development of innovative multi-stakeholder funding vehicles.

Grow Africa intends to support the 44 African countries that have signed the CAADP Compact, however, work started in the 12 countries that were interested at an early stage in taking advantage of Grow Africa’s support to mobilize private sector investment in alignment with their CAADP Plans. 

In 2017, Grow Africa shifted focus from private sector engagement and mobilisation through Letters of Intent, to the Country Agribusiness Partnership (CAP) Framework, a more structured value chain development approach that encompasses all value chain stakeholders and is better aligned to National Agriculture Investment Plans. 

The CAP-F process delivers on the following interventions

1. Facilitating investment and agribusiness partnerships

Grow Africa focuses at national and regional level on:

  • Developing and incubating value chain partnerships that support national agricultural investment plans
  • Mobilizing and supporting the implementation of responsible private-sector investment

Grow Africa incubates and develops effective models for aligning private sector, public sector and development partner investments in African agriculture. A focus on integrated commodity value chains is increasingly seen by key African institutions, and by Grow Africa, as one of the most effective models for accelerating the implementation

of National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs), and agricultural transformation on the continent. Incubating and supporting commodity value chain platforms in support of NAIPs forms the core of Grow Africa’s work.

2. Improving the enabling environment for responsible agricultural investment

Grow Africa also plays a key role in improving the enabling environment for responsible agricultural investment by:

  • Generating and disseminating knowledge and best practices related to effective implementation of investments
  • Facilitating access to affordable finance and technical expertise
  • Maintaining leadership commitment to agriculture

The Grow Africa Secretariat:

  • Works with partners to strengthen commodity value chains where commercial opportunities exist that are in line with national agricultural plans and show high potential for enabling growth of the domestic agribusiness sector, improving smallholder incomes and creating rural jobs.
  • Mobilizes and supports private sector investment required to enable the commercial potential of the commodity value chains it supports.
  • Facilitates public-private sector alignment on policy and infrastructure enhancement to enable the effective implementation of private-sector investments.