Agribusiness and Innovation Systems in Africa

In May 2008, the World Bank Institute (WBI), in collaboration with the Danish Government, Global Development Network, Economic and Social Research Foundation, and other World Bank units, organized a conference in Tanzania on agricultural innovation in Africa. The conference was designed to facilitate learning on key policies, practices, and actors that help enable innovation and technology development in agriculture, with a special focus on agribusiness. The result was to inform various stakeholders on crucial agricultural innovation and technology development issues, and to discuss concrete achievements in these areas with an eye toward replicating and scaling up success in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

To stimulate discussion at the conference, two sets of inputs were prepared in advance: commissioned analytical reports on policies and incentives for fostering innovation within the agricultural sector of the six African countries studied; and innovative case studies of successful technology projects related to agriculture that have been implemented within the six countries.

The objective of the country reports on Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda is to shed light on the dynamics of agricultural innovation, and the impact of public policies and institutions on innovation and value chains, by focusing on agribusiness and by taking the agricultural innovation system concept as the overarching analytical framework. They are based on qualitative interviews with agribusiness leaders with the goal of synthesizing the most vital factors and drivers for agribusiness innovation in SSA. This publication will discuss the major findings of the country reports, link common themes, and distill lessons learned to inform governments, farmers’ organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), research institutes, and donors.

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