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SANJAY SETHI DISCUSSES 'AGRIBUSINESS AND FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICAN COUNTRIES'

 

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Campus visit

Even in the 21st century, the specificities of the African countries and markets continue to be relatively unknown to the majority of people and companies. And numerous questions are posed, especially when companies are trying to discover the opportunities that can be taken and are measuring the risks and challenges that may be faced while exploring the African markets.

Even in the 21st century, the specificities of the African countries and markets continue to be relatively unknown to the majority of people and companies. And numerous questions are posed, especially when companies are trying to discover the opportunities that can be taken and are measuring the risks and challenges that may be faced while exploring the African markets.

In a very interactive session, Mr. Sanjay Sethi, motivated all the audience to provide relevant inputs about Africa, pointed the strengths and weaknesses of the continent and some of its specific countries, helped to demystify some of the preconceived ideas about Africa and brought to discussion the existing African business opportunities.

Pointing out that Africa, that is generally seen, in a wrong way, as a homogeneous continent, has an extreme diversity throughout 52 countries, ranging from the top African Countries in the Index of Human Development, like Mauritius, Seychelles, and Algeria till the top down, like Niger, Central African Republic, and Eritrea. In fact, some of the African strengths indicated by the audience, such as the emerging markets, the existence of natural resources, the good climate, nature and the warm people can be applicable to some countries but not necessarily to all the countries. The same happens with the African weaknesses, like the crime rate, the underdevelopment, the political instability or the corruption.

During the course of discussion, Mr. Sanjay was also questioned about bad experiences that he had in Africa, to which he answered that he went through some extreme situations of lack of security, like to overnight in an African village located in a very unsafe region or being surrounded, while in his car, by several armed people who, in fact, were just collecting taxes for themselves, as permitted by the government.  

However, these situations never changed the vision of Mr. Sanjay Sethi, who always believed in the great potential of Africa, especially for the agricultural business. Besides the importance of this activity in Africa, the reality is that, during the last decades, it never developed in a significant way. On the other side, it is also important to mention that there is a lack of competition in Africa, due to all the difficulties and challenges presented by the continent and the lack of willingness, from the companies, to invest in Africa. But, above all, the passion by Africa and the deep motivation of Mr. Sanjay for the agriculture development and food security in Africa is connected to the fact that it is a great way of helping people in Africa, through sustainable activities that can really improve the quality of life of African people and its local communities. 

Key Learning from the Event: 

This Visiting Wisdom provided a very realistic and updated overview of Africa and the great opportunities that exist in Africa, namely in the agricultural sector, for those companies that are willing and able to invest and work in challenging environments, where the excellent natural resources are combined with, in many countries, with a less favourable side in political, economic and social terms.  

Profile of the Speaker: 

Mr. Sanjay Sethi, presently the Managing Director & CEO at Signature Agri Ventures, Ltd., in Dubai, was recognised for his remarkable contributions to agribusiness and food security situation in Africa, being awarded the prestigious “The Africa Food Prize 2013 Award” at Kampala, Uganda. 

Mr. Sanjay Sethi managed African teams on agribusiness investment, undertaking several infrastructure projects like setting up India’s first Mega Food Park and India´s first Free Trade Warehousing Zone. Mr. Sethi lives in Dubai and has held management positions in several recognized companies in India, Africa, and the Middle East. Many global governmental and private decision-makers have referred to Mr. Sethi publications “Land of Opportunities – The Food Industry in India” and “Building Exponential Growth in India´s Agricultural Exports”. 

Mr. Sethi is also a recognised speaker all over the world on the topics of food security and agribusiness investment opportunities in Middle East, Africa and India Region, interacting on a regular basis with various Heads of Governments, including Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers for Food Security agenda and several multilateral organizations as G8, United Nations and African Union. 

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