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Vertex teams up with United Nations Food Systems Summit, Announces Vision 2030 Plan of Action

Vision 2030 Press Release                                                                                15th October, 2021

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Source: Vertex Ecosystem

This week, South Africa based nonprofit Vertex Ecosystem convened a United Nations Food Systems Summit Dialogue in partnership with Angama Charitable Trust. The group led a coalition of agricultural leaders to evaluate the outcomes of the Food Systems Summit, which took place at the United Nations General Assembly last month.

The dialogue found that most of the ongoing solutions for Africa’s food system vulnerabilities require synchronicity and need to become more interconnected, resulting in the creation of the Vision 2030 Plan of Action.

“Over the course of the Dialogue some great points were made on matters of African agriculture.” Said Shanti Naidoo-Pagé, CEO of Angama Charitable Trust and Seven Generations Africa. Marc Watum, CEO of Vertex Ecosystem and Vision 2030 convenor said “the group reviewed the prevailing challenges faced by stakeholders across a broad spectrum of the agricultural value chain and undertook a 360 assessment of contemporary food systems. Important areas for improvement were identified and the group was successfully able to highlight key areas where intervention could effect the revival and even the achievement of the Vision 2030 agenda.”

Detailed in the Vision 2030 Action Plan, the group has committed to bolster African food systems by supporting innovations in 5 key areas: education & knowledge sharing, creating natural economies, harmonising logistics and nature, entrepreneurial empowerment of ecologically innovative startups, and boosting connectivity. The identification of projects and key opportunities in all of these areas should increase Africa’s capability in achieving 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, by directly capturing the action tracks prioritised by the UN Food Systems Summit objectives and streamlining it into a truly interconnected package of solutions that:

  • Put Africa first
  • Protect and reproduce indigenous African knowledge and environmental practices
  • Allow Africans (PEOPLE) to steward their resources and access existing interventions

The group was also privileged to be addressed by South African political hero, Jay Naidoo, who drew on his existential experiences as a young freedom fighter in the ranks of Pan African heroes Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko, and shared anecdotes from his campaigns in preparation for positions as Secretary General and Minister in the first post-apartheid government of his country.

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A Young Minister Jay Naidoo in conversation with Nelson Mandela (Source: Jay Naidoo)

After the special address and plenaries, the group determined that upon signature and ratification of the Vision 2030 Action Plan in their respective organisations, the first step to be taken is to design a small scale campaign to serve as a collaborative pilot between 20 stakeholders that include researchers, data analysts, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and small holder farmers altogether.

“’The objective is for humanity is to be more engaged, more deliberate in our vision towards 2030. Having technology as an ally, allows for enablement of economies never seen before. Imagine a world where we can predict the food supply and the surplus. Redirect the food to countries within the continent, that have distress. Or imagine a world where homeless and refugees are integrated into societies via a mobile application connected to restaurants for food pickup. One Action. One Vision. One Humanity” – Lavina Ramkissoon, Managing Director and Artificial Intelligence Pioneer, Founder Institute

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Source: Vertex Ecosystem

Entrepreneurs present included Andile Khoza, the founder of Metsi, the “Uber” of water leakage services, and Angelo Stergiopoulos whose company H2onero produces highly affordable state of the art water filtration accessories while supporting free WiFi programs across Southern Africa. Scientist and Professor Vahid Sohrabpour of Saveggy shared coating solutions for crops that drastically improve the shelf life of fresh produce.

Professor Thomas Andersson, from the International Organisation of Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development offered valuable insights ahead of his keynote address at the UN Habitat’s Innovate4Cities conference later this week. He was seconded by agriculturalists from all across the continent including Harvard Fellow and Chairman of the Nigeria Advisory Board at Agricultural Policy Research Africa, Manzo Maigari.

Many NGO organisers also shared in the conversation; speakers included community strategist and NGO founder Mbali Ndhlovu, Agri-entrepreneur Sipelele Ndungane, Ambassador at Youth Opportunities Thembisele Mahuwa, and Paul Maluleke, who is a long time environmental activist and the CEO of Greater Alexandra Tourism and Heritage Association.

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