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Full house for close of highly successful Fin4Ag Nairobi conference

July 18, 2014

'One of the highlights of a successful conference is often how many people are left at the end. And this room is full!' declares Michael Hailu, director, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), at the closing ceremony of the highly successful Fin4Ag Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, jointly hosted by CTA and the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA).

After five full days of conferencing and networking, the close of the conference saw the main plenary session room at capacity with close to 500 delegates still in attendance.

Overall, says Hailu some 890 people attended the conference from 81 countries. Beyond the regular news and film reporting, and as a measure of the great social reporting taking place within the venue, there have been some 11,000 tweets emenating from the delegates.

'This has been a unique week,' continues Hailu. 'We came to this conference looking for solutions, because we don't want to dwell on the problems. We want to move forward and look at the opportunities together. And CTA is committed to continuing this dialogue.'

The keynote speech for the formal closing of the event was presented by Felix Koskei, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, who states: 'There is an immense gap in financing agriculture in Africa, and a lot of ideas have come from this conference in terms of bridging that gap.'

He also declares: 'The lack of tailor-made financial products for agri financing is one of the key factors inhibiting small producers. We need to look at how we improve the default risk of farmers, and how we assess the issue of collateral. This conference has addressed these needs and many more.'

Other closeing addresses were made by Professor Kinanda Muranga, Executive Director at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS), which was the venue for the conference, Millison Narh, Chairman of AFRACA and Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, as well as Saleh Gashua, Secretary General of AFRACA.

Further details of their presentations will be made available in a follow-up report.

In a closing video revealing conference highlights before the main closing speeches, one of the principle architechts of the Fin4Ag conference, Lamon Rutten, Manager, Policies Markets & ICTs at CTA, noted: 'One of the frustrations about working in Africa is that the ambitions are often set too low. Farmers need to move up from subsistence farming. The time is ripe for African farmers to now become wealthy. This will not happen at once, it will be a generational thing. But the seeds are there.'

Published on TXF News. See the original article here

For a complete overview and news from the conference visit the conference blog and the conference website.