Spotlight campaign: Foreign affairs special issue, African farmers in the digital age

Foreign affairs magazine with women walking on the road in the background

Africa has the potential to feed not just itself but other regions too. Our report ‘Grain, Fish, Money’ shows that technology can help transform agriculture in Africa.

The spread of mobile devices has created opportunities for agribusiness, banking, commerce and investment. Mobile technology can accelerate Africa’s productivity in farming and fisheries.

Examples of applied tech innovations developed by Africans for Africa and the world include mobile apps such as:

- ESOKO, which enables Ghanaian farmers to collect and send out market data using simple text messages.

- M-FARM helps Kenyan farmers collectively buy inputs directly from manufacturers and sell produce to the market.

- MLOUMA, in Senegal, connects farmers to food purchasers by displaying real-time market prices and localizations.

In an article published in the Special Issue of Foreign Affairs Magazine, which they co-curated, the Africa Progress Panel’s Chair, Kofi Annan, and Sam Dryden emphasize that digital technology is a powerful tool to help reduce the profound isolation of the vast majority of smallholder farmers.

African governments and international partners as well the private sector, civil society organizations should seize the new opportunities made available by digital technology to accelerate a uniquely African green revolution.