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Former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Africa’s Ambassador for Agricultural Technology

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) has appointed a former Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, as Africa’s Ambassador for Agricultural Technology.

Making the announcement after a meeting with the former president in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, during the week, the AATF executive director, Dr Canisius Kanangire, said that the appointment was informed by Jonathan’s track record of championing agricultural transformation on the continent.

AATF communications officer, Alex Abutu, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

The statement noted that Jonathan, who served as the President of Nigeria from 2010 to 2015, had since been in the forefront of agricultural improvement on the continent.

As AATF’s Ambassador, Dr Jonathan will advocate for advancement of Africa’s agricultural goals and economic growth through application of innovative technologies and enhanced investment in agriculture.

Accepting the appointment, Dr Jonathan said that his interest in serving the continent was driven by the zeal he has in driving food security and transformation for better quality of life in Africa.

According to Dr Kanangire, Jonathan’s commitment to uplift agriculture on the continent was exemplified by the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) he pursued and diligently implemented in Nigeria during his tenure as President.

ATA targeted increasing efficiency and profitability in about 12 selected key agricultural commodities, which include: cotton, cocoa, cassava, oil palm, maize, soya bean, onion, rice, livestock, fisheries, tomato and sorghum.

Under the agenda, about 3.5 million new jobs were created based on the selected key products, while many more jobs were created from other value chain activities, with over N300billion of additional income in the hands of Nigerian farmers and rural entrepreneurs. In addition, over N60 billion (US$380 million) injected into the economy from the substitution of 20% of bread wheat flour with cassava flour.

Dr Kanangire noted that another critical element of Dr Jonathan’s agricultural legacy as President of Nigeria was his ability to cut down on the importation of food that can be produced locally, thereby, saving the nation well over N1.3 trillion per annum on the importation of foodstuff.

According to the AATF executive director, Dr Jonathan is a Pan-Africanist, who had stood for the eradication of rural poverty and the peaceful coexistence of the continent, hence his involvement in peaceful conflict resolution on the continent.

He said, “Dr Jonathan was able to demonstrate in Nigeria that agriculture should be treated as a business and supported by relevant policies for the improvement of the livelihoods of our growing farming population.

“AATF is honoured to have the former president as our Ambassador, whose role will accelerate ongoing efforts to improve our agricultural terrain”.


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