Feeding Africa Summit: $10 billion from AfDB to make Africa the world’s breadbasket

With these funds, Africa plans to end hunger and become a primary food provider for itself and the rest of the world, over the next five years. The Dakar 2 Summit was also an opportunity for African leaders to engage their peers to make Africa a continent free from hunger.

By Bernard Bangda

The announcement was made by President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Akinwumi Adesina, on January 25, 2023, during the Dakar 2 African Food Summit, held in Diamniadio, east of the Senegalese capital, under the theme “Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience”. Akinwumi Adesina urged the heads of state and ministers present at the summit 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.”

The Dakar 2 summit takes place eight years after the Dakar 1 Summit, amid supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At Dakar 1, the newly elected Adesina unveiled the Bank’s “Feed Africa” strategy.

“Food sovereigntyshould be our new weapon of freedom”

For Senegalese President Macky Sall, “the time had come for the continent to feed itself by adding value and stepping up the use of technology. 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,” said the current chairperson of the African Union (AU).

Joining speakers at Dakar 2, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said “the Dakar summit was timely and would provide innovative solutions to help Africa become less dependent on food imports.” On food sovereignty, he said, it “should be our new weapon of freedom.” And he urged development partners to work together within the existing structures, such as Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), for sustainable transformation.

It is a shame that 60 years after independence, we are gathered to talk about feed ourselves

In his speech, Moussa Faki Mahamat commended the AfDB for “rolling out its transformative initiatives, including the $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility, which will be launched in 2022 to help African countries avert a potential food crisis following Russia’s war in Ukraine”. Similarly, President William Ruto of Kenya said, “It is a shame that 60 years after independence, we are gathered to talk about feed ourselves. We can and we must do better. »

A position reinforced by the President of the ADB Group:” Today, over 283 million Africans go to bed hungry every day. This is not acceptable. No mother should ever have to struggle with rumbling of the stomach of a hungry child.” He called on African leaders to “raise the bar and raise our ambition.” Adesina asked Africa to arise and say: “it is time to feed Africa. The timing is right, and the moment is now. Feed Africa; we must.” The bank head 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.”

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