The John A. Kufuor Foundation, in collaboration with Grow Africa, has organized a two-day meeting of the Africa Rice Advocacy Platform (ARAP).

Held early August 2017 at the Westown Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, the meeting enabled participants to share their best practices, discuss tools for advocacy and elect substantive executives after finalizing the constitution for ARAP. This event was a follow-up to the maiden conference in Ghana on 6 October, 2016.

Following a successful review of the draft constitution, Mr. John Kennedy Imoro Amoro of Ghana was elected as President, with Mr. Julius Wambura of Tanzania as vice President. The General Secretary position went to Mr. Raufu Adekunle Lawal of Nigeria, while Mr. Bikienga Boukari (Burkina Faso) and Mr. Avoce Jules Medehouenos (Benin) were elected auditors. For the next four years, the officers will constitute the Executive Steering Committee of the platform.

A one-year plan was prepared to tackle ARAP’s priority areas and foster the growth of the rice sector. This will be done in partnership with institutions such as ECOWAS, AU, NEPAD, EAC, Grow Africa and the JAK Foundation. The priority areas include strengthening country value chain associations, harmonizing common tariffs, ensuring quality standards and regulations for the rice industry, and sharing best practices among member countries.

ARAP is a sub-regional body with the ultimate objective of promoting the sustainability of quality rice production, marketing and consumption in Africa. It has eleven member countries and those represented at the meeting included Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire.

The Lagos meeting was sponsored under the Competitive Africa Rice Initiative (CARI) and Grow Africa. The Foundation is the implementing agency for the “Enabling Environment” component of the Initiative.

His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor who is the Chairman of the Foundation is the patron of ARAP. The platform is hosted temporarily at the Foundation premises in Accra, Ghana.