Last Held: July 10-14, 2017
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
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The Inaugural International Congress on African Agribusiness & Trade at Rutgers University (ICAAT) will bring together African agricultural and political leaders with bilateral and multilateral institutions, overseas development organizations, US agribusiness, agricultural investors, technical and policy experts, and African civil society representatives.
The event will highlight the importance of aligning with international strategic frameworks that address environmental protection, poverty alleviation, gender rights, tenure rights, sustainable economic growth and more. Investors, African governments and entrepreneurs will learn how alignment with these goals can generate greater opportunities for collaboration, increased access to funding and the development of sustainable, successful and transformative agricultural practices.
There will also be a special focus on improving African agricultural education and training and on transforming smallholder farmer subsistence agriculture into agribusiness.
Why is this Important Today?
The agenda for this conference is currently being developed, and more information will be added as details are finalized.
Download a draft agenda here. Subject to change.
We will kick off the Congress with a review of important global processes, frameworks, panels and conventions. These include: the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Equator Principles, the African Union's Malabo Declaration, and more. The importance of these "frameworks" is that:
Public sector funding for African agriculture offer opportunities to leverage private investments. Just within the last few years the Green Climate Fund has received commitments for $20 billion, largely for Impact investing related to climate change. Opportunities to access these and comparable funds require alignment with strategic frameworks and policy initiatives. Harnessing these funds is vitally important for the transformation of the African Agribusiness sector.
We will also hear from African Ministers and African entrepreneurs who can provide practical information about the existing challenges and even specific investment opportunities in each country and region. By the end of the day, African attendees will understand how to better access these funding resources through alignment with strategic frameworks. U.S. donors and investors will better understand African's interests and needs and how these programs can help leverage private investments.
Day 1 Special Events:
Day 2 will cover practical resources for overcoming the challenges and taking advantage of existing opportunities as well as creating new opportunities. Presenters will share the latest scientific and technical research, as well as new methodologies. The focus will be on low cost, affordable but high performance technologies especially benefiting the smallholder farmers, including:
Presenters will emphasize a holistic, comprehensive systems approach which, in addition to new technologies, must include issues such as access to finance, governance, social and gender issues.
By the end of the day, attendees will have a greater understanding of and access to the tools, technologies, methodologies and organizations or potential partners, which can help overcome challenges or enhance success.
Day 2 Special Events:
Accessing sufficient financial resources for agricultural development and agribusiness has always been a challenge at a national and project-based scales. Challenges include inability of donors and investors to identify worthy projects, inability of African farmers, business people or government representatives to provide the appropriate proposals, documentation, or effective business plans, inherent larger scale problems such as as poor communications and transport infrastructure, weak legal and regulatory systems, and more. Each problem breaks a link in the value chain. These more comprehensive problems cannot be corrected by investors on a project by-project basis, therefore, business plans and investment strategies may need to incorporate donor and foundation support. Donors and investors must also better understand local and national objectives and constraints to better formulate funding or investment programs. By understanding strategic frameworks, foundations' and donors' objectives, one can better craft development projects as well as leverage additional funds which may address infrastructure and other issues.
Opportunities will also be provided for African delegates to share and review project and investment and partnership opportunities. This will include identification of challenges and opportunities for donors and foundations to address project shortfalls or gaps in order to leverage private investments.
Attendees will work collaboratively utilizing actual case studies and existing opportunities to craft practical development plans. At the end of Day 3, donors/investors and government representatives and project developers will have a better understanding of the practical, technical and policy considerations regarding providing or accessing funds, and may establish a basis for future partnerships to support projects and initiatives.
Located just outside of Washington, DC, Muirkirk Farm is part of UDC's College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES). Muirkirk is an innovative experimental farm that is off-the-grid. The farm has solar refrigeration systems, hydroponics, self-contained novel irrigation systems, aquaculture and more.
Day 4 Special Events:
Options will be available during Day 5 for investor workshops, business plan training workshops, investor and partnership meetings, and more!
Rutgers University Douglass Student Center, Trayes Hall, 100 George St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901
The conference will include several special events and field trips at other Rutgers locations and off-campus destinations.
Registration Fee Packages:
Choose your preferred package from the options listed below.
VIP African Dignitary Package: $4,750
Honorable African Delegate Package: $3,850
Congress Delegate Package: $2,650
Congress Attendee: $1,550 (U.S. Delegates only)
We will be working with African and US embassies to assist in coordinating Visa approvals for registrants.
Accommodations will be at the world-class Heldrich Hotel and Hyatt Hotel.
Project investment opportunities and procurement and service contract needs for African countries, including agricultural equipment, energy infrastructure, fertilizers, processing facility development, irrigation systems, and more.
Conference leadership will facilitate liaisons and translations to support negotiations.
Who Should Attend:
U.S. experts from the federal government and companies that value doing business in Africa will be present and ready to learn more about African agribusiness opportunities, and to seek partnerships. The conference will facilitate implementation of national programs and local projects that may contribute to a transformation of African agribusiness.
African leaders will have the benefit of a rich source of technical and scientific information and tools, and access to funding and partnerships. US investors and agribusinesses will learn about opportunities in Africa in this dynamic sector. Participants have the benefit of a one-stop source where experts will equip them with what’s needed to forge alliances that reap measurable returns.
Conference leadership and attendees expected at the ICAAT include:
Interested in becoming a sponsor or exhibiting at this event? Invest in Africa, and don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to put your organization in front of agricultural and political leaders working towards overseas development, agribusiness and other agricultural ventures!
Please contact Rosemary Mende to discuss sponsorship package opportunities.
Do you know someone who would be interested in becoming a speaker or panelist at this event? Limited opportunities are still available for participation.
Please complete our speaker nomination form to suggest a speaker.
Photo: Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University
President Obama delivers his address at Rutgers' 250th anniversary commencement to an audience of 50,000.
Rutgers University, the oldest Land Grant College in America, is recognized as a world leader in agriculture education. Rutgers is home to the national secretariat of the African Studies Association, making it the host of the world's largest professional association of Africanist scholars and has over eighty scholars teaching and conducting scholarly and development work virtually covering the African continent.