Irina Bokova, member of the Bridge Tank’s board and Chair of PhosAgro’s Sustainable Development Committee, took part in the online conference “Africa Industrialisation Week 2020” on the 18th of November 2020. She intervened in the panel entitled “The Future of Employment for Young Women and Men in Africa: Accelerating Job Creation in Agriculture and Agribusiness in the post COVID-19 crisis setting”. This session focused on tools for creating new jobs and reducing poverty among young Africans.
Irina Bokova argued that Africa’s economy needed development and support, especially during this global crisis. One of the main problems to be addressed soon is the soil degradation (which concerns 40% of the land in Africa, according to the FAO), linked to the ingress of contaminants from the fertilizers used by local farmers. She highlighted the partnership between the FAO and PhosAgro against this issue. Eventually, she encouraged more partnerships between governments, international governments, research laboratories, scientists, civil society and the private sector to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Among the other keynote speakers of this session were Maria Semedo, Deputy Director General of the FAO, Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, and Ronald Guendel, Global Head of Food Security and Advocacy at Bayer AG.