• Corruption remains a concern in Africa with 31 out of 47 countries with a Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of less than three in 2009. A further 13 out of the 47 scored between three and five on the CPI. A score of between three and five indicates that the countries still face major challenges in the implementation of anti-corruption measures, even though these measures are already codified. Corruption may pose a challenge to the growth and penetration of Africa Harvest in different countries and mitigation measures will need to be developed. • Africa continued to register marked improvement in its business regulatory environment. Several countries have introduced new laws or have reformed existing laws, which make it easier to do business. According to The World Bank Report 2010, 67 regulatory reforms were registered in 29 of the 49 SSA countries. The report further noted that for the first time an African country – Rwanda – has been ranked as the world’s top reformer. Mauritius also continued to perform well, with a ranking of 17 among 183 countries for the overall ease of doing business. Other well-performing countries in Africa included Burkina Faso, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Botswana. Economic Outlook At the end of the last decade, the world witnessed a global financial crisis, which led to a severe recession. This gave way to an economic depression in Europe and the USA, characterized as the worst since the 1930s Keynesian depression. Unlike the 1930s depression, the 2008 collapse was led by a tightening of the lending belts of wholesale financial markets and falling inflation, and therefore resulted in less production worldwide. The effects of this global recession are still being felt in Africa. Although limited structural connectivity to the global system cushioned SSA from the full force of the economic upheavals from Europe and the USA, African countries were nonetheless affected. In particular, organizations like Africa Harvest were severely affected by the significant reduction of official development assistance (ODA). The success of Africa Harvest’s strategy in the next decade will depend on several economic factors such as follows: (i) Food prices reached a record high by the end the last decade, due to supply and demand factors fuelled by speculative market buyouts. There were actual food shortages in the South Americas and SSA caused by floods and droughts. A new competitor for human food consumption also emerged in the form of bio-energy, leading to shortages as food stocks were used to produce bio energy. This trend is set to continue as energy needs grow and
Africa Harvest Strategic Plan 2012–2022
there is a move away from petroleum due to the geopolitical complications and a dwindling supply of petroleum. There is also a move to reduce the use of petroleum due to carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere and the realization that the resource is finite. An increasing global population is also going to fuel demand for food, thereby increasing food prices. The last twelve years (1997–2009) saw the world population grow by one billion people, the fastest population growth rate yet. Despite the anticipated increase in global agricultural output, food prices will keep increasing as the demand rises. (ii) Innovation and value addition are Africa Harvest’s core strategy drivers and will remain important in the next 10 years. Pressure on land and other resources will increase as the population increases, becomes more urbanized and more exposed to international eating habits. Value addition will also be another growth area as demand for food increases and the need to utilize existing stocks fully becomes more apparent. More capital and capital goods will also be invested in agriculture globally due to the demand for food. Fallow land will be brought under cultivation through irrigation and other land-reclaiming efforts.
Africa Harvest, which has two fully operational offices in Kenya and South Africa, plans to expand into at least 10 African countries (iii) Poor rural farmers will benefit more from commercialization of agriculture, especially if they can produce more competitively. Africa Harvest has helped to transition agricultural production at the grass-roots level from subsistence farming to income-generating ventures. It plans to replicate and upscale its successful technology deployment models in Africa, based on demand and supply, to ensure that the poor farmers benefit from increased agricultural production. (iv) As the global economy recovers, many countries are finding loopholes to enforce protectionist policies for agricultural produce, despite World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. This trend is set to continue as a strategy of mitigating the effect of the economic recession. Africa Harvest’s strategy is to play a role in the removal of bottlenecks in the regional markets as part of the implementation of the whole value chain approach and broadening of technology uptake. The strengthening of RECs may
Africa Harvest 10 year Strategic plan