Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2009

Human Need and Corporate Greed - Understanding the Call for a New Green Revolution in Africa

Sameer Dossani

August 2008

Africa Policy Information Center


In 2005, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation announced a plan to “help millions of small-scale farmers lift themselves out of poverty and hunger.” In the years since, those foundations have been joined in their efforts by a number of other organizations and have founded the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). In 2007, two new major players came on as heavy backers – directly or indirectly – of this project. The first is former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who accepted the post of chairman of AGRA in 2007. The second is the World Bank, whose flagship publication – the “World Development Report” – had as its theme for 2008 “Agriculture for Development.”