When people hear “Madagascar”, the first thing that comes to their minds is the famous cartoon. However, it is a country – the country where I come from. I cannot tell you how happy I was when I received the final e-mail announcing that I was elected as the AGCO Africa Ambassador 2017 – I jumped for joy! At the same time I was afraid because a great responsibility had been given to me to represent a country, a continent.
And then, things went so fast! I prepared my trip with the help of my team, my family and friends. Then I took off to Berlin via Mauritius, then Paris. Far away from our sunny days, it was the first time I have faced such a cold, I assure you. Once I arrived in Berlin, I was welcomed warmly with honor by the organizing team of the AGCO Africa Summit and I was accommodated in a sumptuous hotel – “comfort guaranteed”.
There I met Tosin Odunfa, the AGCO Africa Ambassador of 2013 – what a great speaker. He supported and helped me in my preparations for the Summit. Together we visited Berlin, its tourist places, its urban sides and its gastronomy. If you can spend one day in Berlin, do not forget to taste their bread and their beer. What a magnificent city!
The evening before the conference we had a Speakers’ dinner and I had the first opportunity to get to know and chat with the speakers and senior officials from AGCO.
On the morning of the 6th AGCO Africa Summit I was really nervous: I had the honor of being the host of the event. But I had the support of the whole AGCO team and two excellent moderators: Dr. Amrita Cheema from the famous TV channel DEUTSCHE WELLE (a really lively and talented woman), and Jeff Koinange from KENYA’S TELEVISION NETWORK (a voice so deep that when he speaks you’re obliged to turn around). To my surprise, I also met Jean Kaahwa, the winner of AGCO Africa Ambassador contest 2015, who also supported me and gave me courage.
I was amazed that so many people were mobilized to discuss the future of agriculture in Africa. The AGCO Africa Summit brought together so many personalities who are directly involved in agriculture (bankers, entrepreneurs, officials from public administration), as well as young people involved in activities and projects for the development of agriculture in Africa. This experience allowed me to establish professional relationships for our project LEGUMA. I was also able to meet His Excellency Christian Wulff, the Former Federal President of Germany and President of the Euro-Mediterranean Arab Association. The topics discussed during the Summit were exciting and unfortunately the day went by very quickly. By the end of the conference, I was surprised by Nuradin Osman, Vice President and General Manager Africa for AGCO Corporation, who called me on stage to thank me for my participation. The event ended with a dinner where everyone gathered around a good meal and we were able to appreciate talented African musicians who made us dance and vibrate until the end of the night.
The next day I prepared my suitcase to return blessed and safe to Madagascar. I would like to congratulate AGCO for this inspiring event and the possibility to get to know all these important people. I hope that we will go further together in promoting agriculture in Africa.
AGCO AFRICA AMBASSADOR 2017