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Echoes of collaboration to fast-track Africa’s food system transformation keep pulsating

By Guardian Nigeria
24 July 2022   |   2:48 am
The former Ethiopia Prime Minister, and Board Chair of AGRA, Hailemariam Dessalegn has urged Africa’s leaders to collaborate in addressing the triple-threat problem – climate change

[FILES] Food marketplace

The former Ethiopia Prime Minister, and Board Chair of AGRA, Hailemariam Dessalegn has urged Africa’s leaders to collaborate in addressing the triple-threat problem – climate change, COVID-19, and the Russia Ukraine Conflict – that has recently worsened the continent’s food security situation.

Dessalegn who gave the advice during the fourth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union, Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms, in Lusaka, Zambia, cited the latest Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report, which showed that 60 per cent of the world poor now live in Africa, highlighted the need for quick action.

He said: “There is a sense of urgency here if we are to transform the continent’s agriculture and food systems, we need to join forces across countries and regions. We need to build systems and institutions that can deliver the agriculture sector, markets, and trade to our farmers with the strong capacity and expertise to match.”

Dessalegn urged Africa’s institutions and development organisations to team up and support the solutions needed to lift the continent out of the rot that it is currently stuck in.

“We need better coordination among our organisations, with dedicated capacity for Regional Economic Communities and between the African Union Commission and the Africa Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) to be able to respond to the challenges at hand.”

While assuring AGRA’s support, an organisation, which comprises over 200 experts from 29 African countries to support the process, Dessalegn met with President Hakainde Hichilema to discuss his country’s progress in transforming the national pathways to food systems established during last year’s UN Food Systems Summit and strategies for a sustainable transition.

The conversation also addressed Zambia’s role in the regional food trade and the support required of AGRA. Dessalegn further used the opportunity to invite Hichilema to the AGRF 2022 Summit, set for September 5 – 9 in Kigali, Rwanda.

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