World has the resources to end hunger – says Head of African Development Bank

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 September 2021:

“The world has the resources to end hunger,” African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said in a message on the first day of the United Nations Food Systems Summit.

Convened by UN Secretary General António Guterres, the event is billed by its organisers as “a historic opportunity to empower all people to leverage the power of food systems to drive our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and get us back on track to achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.”

The summit brings together thousands of youths, food producers, members of civil society, researchers, the private sector, women and indigenous people, all of whom are participating both physically and virtually in the summit. It is taking place on the side-lines of the 76th UN General Assembly in New York.

In his opening address, Guterres said the participants represented “energy, ideas and the willingness to create new partnerships,” and was a time to celebrate the dignity of those who produce and create the world’s food.

Decrying the 246 million people in Africa who go to bed daily without food and the continent’s 59 million stunted children as “morally and socially unacceptable,” Adesina said that delivering food security for Africa at greater scale called for prioritising technologies, climate and financing.

“The $33 billion per year required to free the world of hunger, is just 0.12% of $27 trillion that the world has deployed as stimulus to address the Covid-19 pandemic. I am confident that zero hunger can be achieved in Africa by 2030,“ Adesina said.

The African Development Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy, through its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation program – widely known as TAAT – has provided 11 million farmers across 29 African countries with proven agricultural technologies for food security. Food production has expanded by 12 million metric tons while saving $814 million worth of food imports.

“We are well on our way to achieving our target of reaching 40 million farmers with modern and climate-resilient technologies in the next five years,” the African Development Bank chief added.

At a meeting on food security in Africa organized by the Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) earlier this year, 19 African heads of state called for the establishment of a facility for financing food security and nutrition in Africa.

“The Facility for Financing Food Security and Nutrition in Africa should be capitalized with at least $ 1 billion per year,” Adesina said.

The welfare of the 70% of Africa’s population working in agriculture and agribusiness is a barometer of the state of the continent’s health.  “If they aren’t doing well, then Africa isn’t doing well,” Rwandan president Paul Kagame said in a message at the official opening.

The many other heads of state and government who spoke on Thursday included, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Prime Minister Jacinda Arden of New Zealand.

2 Comments

  1. Food insecurity across the African are all man made. If governments can address some of the most compounding reasons that some analysts reckons everyday millions of children across the continent goes to bed with out food because their families cannot afford to feed. The reasons are quiet complex, but civil wars like the on going wars in Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, Dafour, in Sudan, and Northern Nigeria and the Sahel region, the DRC, Central Africa Republic, Mozambique, Somalia, can be one the major factors denying whole population their daily food in take. In some of this conflicts, tbe governments and the reble forces have been accused by the United Nations High commission for refugees, for using food as collectective punishment tool for people caught up in this wars. Political instability have also played a major contributory factor to the supply of food. The recent killing of farmers in Northern Nigeria by Fulani herdsmens, can also affect the agricultural yield.

    Most famers in the North of Nigeria, which is the bread basket of the country, are scared to go back in there lands. The impact on the farming community and Nigeria as a whole is insurmountable. Unless government are ready to address some of this core issues, affecting production, and reducing food waste the problem of hunger across the continent will continue. Government needs to promote diversification by investing in agriculture, since 70% of the continent food production depends on our small scales famers. Bio says he is doing just that. But with his government, is more talk than action. Sierra-leone should not be caught up in the web of countries that cannot afford to feed itself. We have every thing, to make our country food sufficient. The arable land, amount of rain fall, and hard working people. The only downside we have a government that can’t think outside the box. Improving trade policies by breaking down trade barriers, will not only improve economic activities between nation states.

    Not enough trade has been undertaken by the three MANO River members states. Food shortages in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will be a thing of the past, if the three governments open up their markets. But when you have fomer dictator Alpha Conde closing his boaders with neighbouring sister countries and the impactson trade , then any chance of flourishing trade between this countries are put in the back bonner. We need to take the politics out of the food supply chains. And lastly governments should work together to adress the climate emergency facing us. Otherwise we will never able to beat hunger amongst our people.

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