The 2023 Sahel Food System Changemakers’ Conference took place at the NAF Conference Centre & Suites in Abuja, Nigeria, on October 12, 2023. The Honourable Minister of Budget and Economic Planning Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu delivered the ministerial address at the hybrid event which brought together over 500 delegates among which were 12 heads of international donor organizations, representatives from 5 Ministries, numerous researchers, civil society organizations, commodity associations, Small and Medium-sized Entrepreneurs (SMEs), and private agribusiness companies. To promote diversity and inclusion, we ensured the active participation of farmers and farmers’ associations, as well as youth and women, who accounted for 40% of the speakers.
The conference encompassed 6 distinct sessions, comprising a presentation on the State of the Nigerian Food and Nutrition landscape, a fireside chat, an innovation panel, seven breakout sessions, and a plenary session. We hosted over 26 speakers who shared their expertise and insights. In addition, delegates had the opportunity to engage with 17 exhibitors who showcased made-in-Nigeria food products and services. The event garnered media attention, with 9 national and local media organizations represented by agricultural correspondents.
The conference had a clear focus on fostering urgent public-private partnerships to identify and address gaps and challenges that hinder the transformation of Nigeria’s food system. With its theme, participants were prompted to deeply reflect upon the impact of climate change on food and nutrition security and explore targeted solutions to mitigate its effects.
Additionally, the convening served as a platform to reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year’s conference, which focused on a roadmap to tackle Nigeria’s pressing food crisis. Building upon these foundations, delegates were well aware that the essence of this year’s conference was to catalyze the activation of public-private partnerships.