Remarks by Chairman of the Board
H.E S Ngwenya
Awards Ceremony 2012
- The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives
- Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives
- FANRPAN CEO, Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda
- FANRPAN country nodes hosting institutions
- Media representatives
- Distinguished guests
- Ladies and gentlemen
- All protocols observed
Recently I was reading the African Business magazine and I was struck by Craig Sagar’s question., "why are the African Business Awards presented in London which is quite far from Africa – It must cost a lot for all the people involved to travel?".
I am happy that here at FANRPAN we do things differently, we recognise our African Agriculture Success Stories on home soil. On behalf of the FANRPAN Board of Governors and the network members, I would like to welcome you to this year’s FANRPAN Award Ceremony.
I would especially like to welcome the winners and their families to this ceremony, whose purpose is to honour these champions and their contributions to agriculture in Tanzania.
The FANRPAN Awards have become not only an important calendar event on the network’s calendar but they are now the ultimate recognition for agriculture excellence in Africa. Feedback from our network members and partners testifies to the pride and excitement that this event brings, not only to the host country but in Africa as a whole.
The FANRPAN Board of Governors took the decision in 2007 to recognise and reward success stories in Africa in order for these to be scaled up in Africa and beyond. It is for this same reason that we are gathered here today, to say to our fellow Tanzanians – Well Done.
When the FANRPAN Annual General Meeting in Swaziland last year took the decision that Tanzania (the Economic and Social Research Foundation - ESRF) will be the host for this year’s regional policy dialogue, our hearts and minds started racing as we were visualising some of the events that take place pre and during the dialogue.
One thing I must say is that when it comes to the awards, we knew we would not be searching in the dark for success stories.. Tanzania's agriculture landscape made our work pretty easy, with:
- First, we have noted that his Excellency, as the president of the republic, is hands on in agriculture. For the past three years His Excellency has been leading KILIMO KWANZA, the Agriculture Development Programme.
- Second, the media has done an excellent job of covering on Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources issues. This should serve as an inspiration to our journalists that have been participating in the training workshop which started on Sunday.
- Thirdly, the civil society in Tanzanian has not been seating idly when it comes to driving the development of the agriculture sector and ensuring food security for all Tanzanians.
- Lastly, the country has young people who have shown us that, agriculture does not have to be a profession for the elderly or the poor.
Tanzania presents quite an exemplary setting in the region and continent with its public private partnerships in agriculture development and investment being highly commendable and bearing tangible results.
Tanzania is the first country, since the inception of the FANRPAN awards to receive four awards will be represented, namely:
- The Food Security Policy Leadership Award which was introduced in 2008. The award has four winners already.
- The Civil Society Policy Mover and Shaker Award was introduced in 2009 – with two winners as it was not awarded in Namibia, the 2010 Regional Policy Dialogue
- The FANRPAN Excellence in Agricultural Journalism Award was introduced in Swaziland and has one winner
- Youth Champion in Agriculture. For this award, I am proud to also announce that, this year, we are launching a Youth Champion in Agriculture Award. This award is in recognition of young people that are business savvy and innovative in applying knowledge to transform Africa’s agricultural into a modernised technology driven and profitable industry.
Lastly, I must say we are looking forward to Tanzania day later this week as we want to learn about Tanzanian agriculture and the models adopted in the country. I have no doubt that each of our conference participants will take something home from the experience.