Safeguarding Africa’s Food Systems Through and Beyond the Crisis

June 17, 2020

A moderated discussion on how governments / development partners / private sector along the agriculture value chain can respond to COVID-19 and specifically what opportunities this pandemic might provide to rethink our agriculture and food systems.

  • Food systems resilience – specifically the need to not focus on reliance (full self-sufficiency) but rather to strengthen regional trade, food reserves, and production systems. What are the opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic provides for governments and development partners to rethink and reshape Africa’s food systems?
  • Agriculture finance and investment – traditionally, this is a sector that has struggled to secure finance and private investment at scale, for various reasons. What challenges does COVID-19 pose to scaling up finance and investment for agriculture in Africa (including for SMEs, farmers, as well as larger businesses)?
  • Agriculture technology and digital – Does COVID-19 present an opportunity for a new wave of technology or digital investment in agriculture in Africa?
  • Opportunity for new partnerships/collaborations – does COVID-19 provide an impetus for a new wave of collaborations and partnerships to drive agriculture transformation and food systems resilience in Africa? For example, many of the world’s largest food players are rethinking their supply chains – does this present an opportunity?

Moderated by Gillian Pais, Partner Agriculture in Africa, McKinsey & Company


  • Linda Manda is the Global Head Agribusiness, Client Coverage, Corporate and Investment Banking, Standard Bank Group.
  • Kola Masha is the Managing Director of Babban Gona. Babban Gona is an award winning, high impact, financially sustainable and highly scalable social enterprise, part-owned by the farmers we serve.
  • Mezuo Nwuneli is the Managing Partner, Sahel Capital Agribusiness Managers Ltd., a food and agriculture focused private equity firm which invests in mid-sized agribusinesses.
  • Atsuko Toda is serving as the Director of Agriculture Finance and Rural Infrastructure Development Department at the African Development Bank. The department is responsible for the Bank’s investments in private sector agribusiness companies and development of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones across the African Continent. 

Presentation Slides