6-7 December 2014. Cotonou, Benin. The Pan African Farmer’s Organisation has a new President. SACAU President, Dr. Theo de Jager has been elected as the new president at the 2nd General assembly of PAFO. He is succeeding Mr. Djibo Bagna, from the farmers’ Organisation of West Africa (ROPPA), who held the Position for the past two years.
“Farmers in Africa represent a significant number of the continent’s population – they are the poorest people in the world, yet they do not live on the poorest continent in the world. We have good soils and a good climate – things money cannot buy, but we lack in technology, infrastructure, market linkages and expertise. The oil and minerals of the continent have only benefitted a small elite, but prosperity in agriculture on the continent can transform the lives of millions of farmers and households,” Dr de Jager emphasized.
Dr. de Jager welcomed his appointment in this remarkable time for Africa, where seven out of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are on the continent. But he also stressed the need for changes so the agriculture can benefit from this developmnet. Some of his suggestions include:
- A change of mindset from fighting poverty through agriculture, to wealth creation
- Embracing of technology, especially from the young people
- A Need for Africa to take ownership of opportunities on the continent (intra-Africa) trade
- The Promotion of unity and cooperation between Africa’s people and governments towards a common goal
The new executive Board of PAFO include Mr Abdelmajid Ezzar of Tunisia, who has been elected as deputy President, Mr Djibo Bagna of Niger who is treasurer and Mrs Elizabeth Atangana of Cameroon, the first President of PAFO from 2010-2012, who will be responsible for women and young farmers.