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IFAMA And The Corporate Council On Africa Present Agribusiness & Food World Forum

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SOURCE International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA)

Dialogue on Nutrition and Agricultural Research Spans African Continent

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) and The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) have convened the Agribusiness & Food World Forum in Cape Town, South Africa.  Beginning with a two day symposium for students pursuing agribusiness careers, the Forum is framed by three overarching themes – The Talent Factor, Noble Ambition of Feeding the World, and Africa Agribusiness' Age of Opportunity.  Approximately 500 multi-sector leaders representing over 30 countries are registered to attend. Participants will discuss current and new models for raising the professionalism of agribusiness and developing a sustained talent pipeline to responsibly feed the world, today and in the future.

"Each year, the IFAMA World Forum is a highly anticipated event. We are excited to partner with The Corporate Council on Africa this year in order to increase participation from the private sector and draw on CCA's expertise in the African agribusiness sector," says Don Vondriska, Executive Director of IFAMA.

"Agriculture and agribusiness are projected to grow from $313 billion USD today to $1 trillion USD in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030," says Stephen Hayes, President and CEO of CCA. "With this projected growth and Africa's agricultural sector employing at least 65 percent of the continent's labor force, IFAMA's partnership with CCA to bring its annual World Forum to Africa is a significant contribution to strengthening agribusiness on the continent."

Over 60 industry and academic leaders will speak at the Forum on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to transformative technologies. The 2-day, research-based symposium for students and academic scholars includes a unique student case competition. Tatevik Avetisyan, a PhD Student at Michigan State University who is participating, comments: "The Competition will give us a great opportunity to apply our knowledge and skills to evaluate an existing managerial issue in the global food and agribusiness industry and show analytical and problem solving skills. It is both encouraging and challenging to know that there will be over 20 student teams participating in the competition from around the world." 

The Forum also includes workshops and plenaries tailored to the private sector and NGOs and a pan-African trade exposition of agribusinesses operating successfully across Africa. The highlight of the closing dinner will be the recognition of the Honorable Professor Ruth Khasaya Oniang'o, who will receive the Distinguished Service Award for her influence on the development of nutrition training and agricultural research and development throughout Africa. Far beyond her home country of Kenya, Professor Oniang'o has participated in international activities which have helped to generate decisions that have shaped and furthered global food security and nutrition.

Professor Oniang'o is a past member of Kenya's parliament and served as Professor of Food Science and Nutrition and Director of Graduate Studies at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology.  The first nutrition professor in Kenya (and arguably in all of sub-Saharan Africa), she received undergraduate and master's degrees from Washington State University, Pullman, Washington and received her Ph.D. from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

IFAMA President, Thad Simons comments: "Professor Oniang'o's firm grasp of African food and nutrition issues has allowed her to serve as Africa's voice at many international forums and as an advisor to many.  Her leadership in the creation and continued oversight of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development has provided an avenue for the publishing of scholarly research and served as a capacity builder for budding academics across the globe.  She embodies all of the Continent's vast promise."

About the 2014 Agribusiness & Food World Forum

Jointly presented by the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), the 2014 Agribusiness & Food World Forum will focus on Africa as a region of limitless opportunity, where agribusiness has the potential to be the engine that drives dynamic, unprecedented economic growth and development. Hosted June 15-19, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa, the overarching framework for the forum is People Feed the World.  Interactive discussions and presentations will engage students, academic, government and business leaders and focus on the common and binding factor of the human talent and potential to achieve global nutritional security.

About IFAMA

IFAMA is an international management organization based in Washington, D.C. that brings together current and future business, academic and government leaders along with other industry stakeholders to improve the strategic focus, transparency, sustainability and responsiveness of the global food and agribusiness system. IFAMA has over 700 members in more than 50 countries, and serves as an effective worldwide networking organization, bridging the agribusiness industry, researchers, educators, government, consumer groups and non-governmental organizations.

ABOUT CCA

CCA is a nonprofit, membership-based organization promoting business and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa. CCA is the premier American organization devoted to U.S.-Africa business relations and includes members from more than 160 companies, which represent nearly 85 percent of total U.S. private sector investments in Africa. CCA's members represent a diverse pool of industries from Africa's most promising sectors, including agribusiness, capacity building, energy, finance, health, ICT, infrastructure and security.

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