November 11

Analysis: AGRA Retreats from its Own ‘Green Revolution’

In September 2022, leaders of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) surprised thousands of in-person and virtual delegates to its annual African Green Revolution Forum with the announcement that both the organization and its signature event were “rebranding.” It turns out, they dropped “green revolution” from their names. But you wouldn’t have known it from the launch event at the Forum.

Presented at a press conference that also announced AGRA’s new five-year strategy, the news was delivered via video after an hour of short reflections from AGRA’s donors and leaders. Over a highly produced montage of photos, an unnamed narrator intoned glowing descriptions of AGRA’s 16-year effort to “catalyze a productivity revolution” in African agriculture. It concluded with a flourish: the unveiling of AGRA’s new logo—a small change in the design around the acronym—and tagline —“Sustainably Growing Africa’s Food Systems.”

Going forward, AGRA will be known only by its acronym and the Green Revolution Forum would become the African Food Systems Forum.

That latter change got some explanation. It was time to build on last year’s United Nations Food Systems Summit—which AGRA President Agnes Kalibata led as the UN’s special envoy—by establishing AGRA’s forum as Africa’s venue to advance the summit’s goals.

The change to AGRA’s name was left not only unexplained but unacknowledged. Neither the video nor the subsequent AGRA press release mentioned that the organization was removing the words green revolution from its name. It only came out later, in a front-page article in Bill Gates’ hometown newspaper, the Seattle Times: “Gates-funded ‘green revolution’ in Africa has failed.” President Kalibata acknowledged the change, saying only, “We have been many times misunderstood.”

Photo courtesy of Mozambique – Massaca Reservoir Water Collection Agric – John Hogg/

Source: FoodTank (link opens in a new window)

food security