For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Press Release

The below is attributable to Deputy Spokesperson Shejal Pulivarti: 

From September 5-8, Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman traveled to Tanzania and Malawi. 

In Dar es Salaam, Deputy Administrator Coleman led the U.S. government’s delegation to the 2023 African Food Systems Forum (AFSF) and met with senior government officials. 

On September 5, Deputy Administrator Coleman attended the AFSF opening ceremony and gave remarks at the Forum’s Deal Room, announcing USAID’s investment of $4 million in VALUE4HER, Africa’s first agribusiness digital marketplace specifically for women entrepreneurs. She met with the Tanzania Minister of Finance Dr. Mwigulu Nchemba where they discussed the United States’ long-term relationship with Tanzania, including USAID’s ongoing work in Tanzania as a Feed the Future target country. Deputy Administrator Coleman also met with Rockefeller Foundation’s Senior Vice President for the Food Initiative Roy Steiner and discussed shared priorities including localization and data driven investments in Africa’s agriculture sector.  

Later that day, Deputy Administrator Coleman met with Ms. Delphine Traoré, CEO of Allianz Africa and AGRA board member. They spoke about the challenges and potential of providing crop insurance to African smallholder farmers. She then met with Mr. Svein Holsether, CEO of Yara International, a leading fertilizer company, to discuss the current challenges African farmers face accessing high quality fertilizer. Closing the Forum’s first day, Deputy Administrator Coleman provided remarks at the Nutritious Foods Financing Facility (N3F) event, hosted by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Incofin Investment Management, and announced USAID’s $6 million investment in the N3F. The event celebrated the N3F, the first investment fund focused specifically on improving diet quality and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa through direct financing to small and medium enterprises in the agri-food sector. 

On September 6, Deputy Administrator Coleman gave the keynote address at the CEO Roundtable on Trade and Investment at the Forum, reinforcing the importance of free and fair trade as a critical tool for resilient food systems. Following the event, she met with the Ministers of Agriculture from Senegal and Guinea-Bissau to discuss ways to collaborate with USAID to energize agricultural productivity across both countries. 

Deputy Administrator Coleman met with the Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture Hussein Mohamed Bashe, where she underscored the United States’ commitment to partnering with Tanzania to continue Feed the Future investments in Tanzania and advance the transformation of the country's agriculture sector.

Later that day, Deputy Administrator Coleman met with Mr. Rodger Voorhies, President of Global Growth and Opportunity at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and discussed critical issues such as gender equality in agri-food systems and improving African agricultural productivity. She also met with Norway’s Minister for International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, and discussed opportunities for collaboration including through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Partners Coordination Group and support for African agricultural small and medium enterprises. In the evening, she joined an event with entrepreneurs and thought leaders to discuss opportunities in the African seed sector, including increased private sector engagement and scaling innovative approaches to ensure smallholder farmers have better access to high-quality seed.

On September 7, Deputy Administrator Coleman arrived in Malawi where she met with government and private sector representatives to discuss the U.S.-Malawi relationship and highlight the U.S. government’s support for Malawi’s democratic reforms and inclusive, market-driven economic growth. 

Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman during her tour of Pyxus Agriculture Limited Malawi

Deputy Administrator Coleman began her visit to Malawi with a tour of Pyxus Agriculture Limited Malawi, headquartered out of Virgina, home to the second largest groundnut processing facility in Africa. She announced a $14.5 million Global Development Alliance with Pyxus Agriculture Malawi, which will help transform the peanut sector by addressing quality seed, soil health, food safety, and processing, while using clean energy and recycling agricultural waste. The new partnership is one example of how USAID supports companies with inclusive business models and expands value chains in order to diversify the country’s exports. 

The Deputy Administrator then visited 265 Energy, one of the largest Liquified Petroleum Gas distributors in Malawi for a demonstration on cleaner cooking and heating technologies. She also spoke with representatives of businesses, such as honey and coffee producers, working to create jobs, reduce deforestation, improve the soil, and help Malawi adapt to climate change. She then met with the CEOs of Malawi banks to discuss how to expand access to finance for small- and medium-sized businesses in the country. In the evening, she attended an event with private sector leaders to learn more about Malawi’s business and economic environment, and to identify ways USAID and the private sector can work together to address the macroeconomic crisis and create long-term solutions for sustainable economic development. 

On September 8, Deputy Administrator Coleman met with key government ministers to convey the United States’ ongoing commitment to Malawi and to encourage bold and needed steps to stabilize the economy. She also met with civil society leaders who shared their insights on how Malawi can emerge from the crisis and make progress on transparency, accountability, and inclusive governance. 

Before she departed Malawi, Deputy Administrator Coleman met with the USAID’s staff to discuss progress on Foreign Service National empowerment, hear their concerns related to the economic crisis, and thank them for their dedication and valuable contributions toward a healthy and prosperous future for all Malawians.

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