Ambassadors from seven African countries will be in Iowa next week to tour farms, visit with researchers and attend World Food Prize forums. Daniel Karanja of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa will be part of the group, too.
“They’re going to visit a farm and see how corn is grown and see some experiments,” Karanja says. “They’re going to have some discussions…on food aid…African agriculture, biotechnology and trade.”
Karanja’s group was formed to find ways to increase levels of assistance to Africa and part of his job has been to travel the U.S. with African ambassadors. “We come out to the hinterlands, to places like Iowa, and basically promote partnerships between these countries, between Africa and the states and the state colleges to talk about hunger and agricultural issues, to talk about higher education opportunities,” Karanja says.
The group of ambassadors will visit Iowa State University and Pioneer Hy-Bred International next Tuesday and during the week they’ll meet with farmers, agribusiness owners, and the leaders of Iowa and U.S. commodity groups. “Basically, we are bringing the ambassadors out to learn more about the U.S. agriculture and see things they can use back in their countries,” Karanja says. Karanja and ambassadors from the African nations of Rwanda, Mali, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Algiers will arrive in Iowa on October 16th and depart the 20th.
On Monday night Rwanda’s ambassador and Karanja will appear at a forum in Des Moines hosted by the Iowa Council for International Understanding. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week the African ambassadors will participate in the World Food Prize Forum in Des Moines.