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Feed Africa Summit: AfDB Committing $10bn to Make Continent Breadbasket of the World

The African Development Bank Group has pledged $10 billion over the next five years to help Africa overcome hunger and become a key food producer for itself and the rest of the world.

Feed Africa Summit: AfDB Committing $10bn to Make Continent Breadbasket of the World

DAKAR, Senegal, January 26, 2023/ — The African Development Bank Group has pledged $10 billion over the next five years to help Africa overcome hunger and become a key food producer for itself and the rest of the world.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the Bank Group, made the announcement on Wednesday at the Dakar 2 Africa Food Summit in Diamniadio, east of Dakar, Senegal.

Adesina urged more than 34 heads of state, 70 government ministers, the business sector, farmers, development partners, and corporate leaders to collaborate on agreements that would bring food and agriculture change to Africa on a large scale. He urged them to work together to realize the continent’s agricultural potential and turn it into a worldwide breadbasket.

The Dakar 2 summit, themed Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience, is taking place in the midst of supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, climate change, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Over a thousand delegates and dignitaries attended, including Ireland’s President, Michael D. Higgins.

The summit is co-hosted by the Government of Senegal and the African Development Bank Group, eight years after the initial Dakar 1 conference, where newly elected Adesina introduced the Bank’s Feed Africa policy.

President Sall, who is also the African Union chairperson, opened the summit by saying that the moment had come for the continent to feed itself by adding value and increasing its use of technology.

“From the farm to the plate, we need full food sovereignty,” Sall said, adding that “we must boost cultivable acreage and market access to improve cross-border trade.”

The African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said the Dakar meeting was opportune and would give innovative solutions to help Africa become less reliant on food imports.

“Food sovereignty should be our new freedom weapon,” Mahamat told the audience. He urged development partners to collaborate within existing mechanisms for long-term reform, including as Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Mahamat praised the African Development Bank for launching innovative projects such as a $1.5 billion emergency food production facility in 2022 to assist African countries in averting a potential food catastrophe as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“It is a pity that 60 years after independence, we are meeting to discuss about feeding ourselves,” Kenyan President William Ruto stated. We can and must improve.” “Today, over 283 million Africans go to bed hungry every day,” stated the African Development Bank Group’s chairman. This is simply unacceptable. No mother should ever have to deal with a hungry child’s tummy churning.”

“We need to raise the bar. We need to be more ambitious. We must stand up and declare that it is time to feed Africa. The timing is perfect, and the time has come. “We must feed Africa,” Adesina stated.

“We must firmly support farmers, especially smallholder farmers, the majority of whom are women, and bring more young people into agriculture,” the bank’s head said, urging governments to translate political commitment into decisive actions to guarantee food security for Africa. And we must approach agriculture as a business rather than a development endeavor, and increase assistance for the private sector.”

President Higgins of Ireland stated that with Africa’s young population accounting for approximately 20% of the world’s young people, the continent has tremendous potential. He stated the remainder of the world would look up to it in the future.

“Let us make this century Africa’s Century, a century in which the continent will be free of hunger,” Higgins remarked.

In his statement to the meeting, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that Africa was currently confronted with the difficulties of climate change and food poverty, as the Russia-Ukraine war had caused fertilizer prices to skyrocket and supply to become challenging.

He promised the UN’s assistance in assisting Africa to become a global food powerhouse.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that countries must provide more robust support for farmers, dedicate a portion of the national budget to agriculture, and encourage youth and women to farm.

“Feeding Africa is critical,” Buhari stated. We must assure that we feed ourselves today, tomorrow, and into the foreseeable future.”

Dr. Adesina and the African Development Bank were praised by Nigeria’s president for establishing specific agro-industrial processing zones across the continent, including in Nigeria.

“Special agro-industrial processing zones are game changers for the structural growth of farm sectors,” he stated. They will aid in the generation of income, the development of integrated infrastructure surrounding unique agro-processing zones, and the addition of value.”

Private sector stakeholders are expected to agree to national food and agriculture delivery compacts, push policies, generate structural reforms, and attract private sector investment during the three-day conference.

Central bank governors and finance ministers are expected to develop financing arrangements to implement the food and agriculture delivery compacts, in conjunction with agriculture ministers, private sector players, commercial banks, financial institutions, and multilateral partners and organisations



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