About the event

Under the theme “Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation,” Africa’s Food Systems Forum (AGRF) 2023 Summit will focus on building back better food systems and food sovereignty in Africa with youth and women at the centre. The Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN) will attend the event to highlight the SME finance agenda alongside Heads of State, Ministers, youth, agribusinesses and agricultural experts. This year, SAFIN is partnering with the Agribusiness Dealroom at the AGRF for a series of sessions focused on the themes of our learning agenda. Join us at the following sessions to learn, share your expertise and network with like-minded practitioners.

04 September 2023

Side event: Financing farmer organizations for resilience

Time: 10:45am – 12:15pm (East African Time)

Event co-hosts: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and AFEX

Location: Mikumi Hall, Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre

This side event will introduce key issues related to financing farmers’ organizations in times of crises, featuring representatives from the financial sector, farmer organizations and other value chain actors. Speakers in the session will share their experiences of what works and what does not when  improving access to finance for farmers’ organizations, including their own successes and challenges. Critical policy changes for food systems transformation through inclusive, innovative and increased investment in farmers’ organizations will also be discussed.


  • Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Frank Rubio, Senior Technical Advisor, ABC Fund, IFAD
  • Jacqueline Mkindi, CEO, TAHA Commercial Companies
  • Musa Sidney Sibandze, Founder and Managing Director SMS General Supplies & Services
  • Tabitha Njuguna, Managing Director, AFEX Fair Trade Kenya
  • Teofora Madilu, Senior Manager- Agribusiness, Equity Bank Limited

Resource material: Evidence from a recent survey on the financing need of farmer organizations


05 September 2023  

Side event: Improving  business development services for agricultural SMEs in Africa 

Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm (East African Time)

Event co-host: Agribusiness Market Ecosystem Alliance (AMEA)

Location: Mikumi Hall, Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre

Building on the findings of a recent study on the efficiency and effectiveness of business development services (BDS), a provider, funder, investor and recipient of BDS services will share each their experiences and recommended solutions to enhance how BDS is delivered in Africa. Session participants will then discuss the challenges and opportunities of smart subsidies and service-payment models for BDS delivery as well as the need for robust data collection and reporting standards. The session will aim to capture lingering knowledge gaps in the BDS sector and guidance for the practical implementation of collaborative solutions to improve BDS delivery for Africa-based agribusinesses.


  • Hadija Jabiri, Founder and CEO, GBRI Business Solutions Tanzania
  • Hans Muzoora, Market Systems Agriculture Finance Officer, USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security
  • Josephine Ecklu, Global Inclusive Business Advisor, Rikolto
  • Mark Blackett, Director, Agribusiness Market Ecosystem Alliance (AMEA)
  • Nadia Martinez, Senior Coordinator, SAFIN (moderator)
  • Nadine Gbossa, Director for Food Systems Coordination, IFAD
  • Wanjohi Ndagu, Investment Director, Pearl Capital Partners

Resource material: Effectiveness & Efficiency of Business Development Services (BDS) for Agri-SMEs

Networking reception: SAFIN members and partners

Time: 6:00pm- 8:00pm (East African Time)

Event co-host: African Development Bank

Location: Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam

Join members and supporters of the SAFIN network for a casual evening of discovery and networking with other practitioners from the agri-SME finance sector. Contact the SAFIN secretariat for further details.

Opening remarks by Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department, IFAD

Member resource material: Login to confirm attendance and contact participating members


06 September 2023

Masterclass: Agriculture Climate Funds – From Design to Performance Assessment

Time: 9:30 am- 11:00 am (East African Time)

Event co-host: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Location: Gombe Room, Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre

This interactive masterclass aims to help participants design, manage and assess the impact of climate fund facilities for agriculture. The session will include two thematic sessions facilitated by subject matter experts sharing key recommendations based on practical experience. Session 1 will focus on the design and structuring of climate funds based on their intended investees and impact. Session 2 will focus on performance assessment, guiding participants through the range of assessment tools currently available, key indicators and data collection requirements.


  • Jahan Chowdhury, Lead Technical Specialist – Environment & Climate, IFAD
  • Michael von During, Technical Specialist, SAFIN (Moderator)
  • Nadia Martinez, Senior Coordinator, SAFIN
  • Sara Mbago-Bhunu, Regional Director East & Southern Africa Division, IFAD
  • Zhengzheng Qu, Programme Management Officer, Climate Finance, UNEP

Resource materials: Addressing supply and demand constraints in scaling green finance | Effective partnerships to direct green finance towards agri-SMEs




Event Details:

Event dates: 04-06 Sep 2023

Location: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Organizer: SAFIN



Quote: "The work of partnering, aligning investment portfolios or sharing trade secrets is easier said than done. It requires mutual trust and relationships that are best nurtured through multi-stakeholder initiatives like SAFIN," Dr. Donal Brown, Associate Vice President, Programme Management Department, IFAD

Summary article:

Family businesses in agriculture, particularly those owned or led by women and young people, took centre stage in fifteen sessions at the Africa Food Systems Forum 2023. In a brief blog, SAFIN looks back at what the Forum revealed about the challenges, solutions and systemic shifts needed to put more capital in the hands of African agripreneurs:

  • When agribusinesses pay for business support, they generate greater impact
  • Coordination and data standards are indispensable to finance green transitions in agriculture
  • Looking beyond challenges and identifying practical solutions for farmer organizations

Read more


Session videos: