AfDB commits $10b to unlock Africa’s agriculture potential
January 26, 2023175 views0 comments
By Business AM
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB), has committed $10 billion over the next five years to boost Africa’s efforts to end hunger and become a primary food provider for itself and the rest of the world.
Akinwumi Adesina, the AfDB President, disclosed this at the second edition of the Dakar Africa Food Summit in Diamniadio, east of the Senegalese capital of Dakar.
The summit themed “ Feed Africa: food sovereignty and resilience” was co-hosted by the Senegalese government and the continent’s premier development finance institution.
Adesina highlighted some of the challenges affecting Africa’s agriculture output to include; supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
To address these issues, the bank head enjoined the attendees including over 34 heads of state, 70 government ministers, the private sector, farmers, development partners, and corporate executives,to work out compacts that would deliver food and agriculture transformation at scale across Africa. He also encouraged them to take collective action to unlock the continent’s agricultural potential to become a global breadbasket.
“We must raise the bar. We must raise our ambition. We must arise and say to ourselves: it is time to feed Africa. The timing is right, and the moment is now. Feed Africa; we must,” he said. .
Adesina also urged the leaders to turn political will into decisive actions to deliver food security for Africa.
“We must strongly support farmers, especially smallholder farmers, majority of whom are women, and get more young people into agriculture. And we must take agriculture as a business, not a development activity, and boost support to the private sector,” he added.
In his opening address, President Sall of Senegal said the time had come for the continent to feed itself by adding value and stepping up the use of technology.
Sall, who is also the African Union chairperson, said; “From the farm to the plate, we need full food sovereignty, and we must increase land under cultivation and market access to enhance cross-border trade.”
Also speaking at the event, Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission said the Dakar summit was timely and would provide innovative solutions to help Africa become less dependent on food imports.
“Food sovereignty should be our new weapon of freedom,” he told the gathering. He
Mahamat also urged development partners to work together within existing structures, such as Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area, for sustainable transformation.
The leader of the African Union Commission commended the African Development Bank for rolling out transformative initiatives, including a $1.5 billion emergency food production facility in 2022 to help African countries avert a potential food crisis following Russia’s war in Ukraine.
President Higgins of Ireland, in his remark, said with Africa’s young population accounting for about 20 per cent of the world’s young people, the continent had great potential. He said the rest of the world would look up to it in the future.
“Let us make this century Africa’s Century, one which will see the continent become free from hunger,” Higgins said.
In his message to the summit, Antonio Guterres , United Nations secretary-general acknowledged that Africa was currently facing the challenges of climate change and food insecurity, as the Russia-Ukraine war had caused the price of fertilizers to shoot up and made their supply difficult.
To this end, Guterres pledged the UN’s support to help Africa become a global food powerhouse.