AfDB, partners commit $30b to food sufficiency in Nigeria, other African countries
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and other development partners have committed a total of $30 billion to national compacts, which aim to achieve food sufficiency in the continent in the next five years.
The resolution was one of the outcomes of the rigorous boardroom deliberations involving 41 countries and 34 Heads of State and Government held as part of the second edition of the Feed Africa Summit held at the Abdou Diouf Centre for International Conference, Dakar, Senegal, from January 25 to 27.
Dakar 2, as it was christened, came about seven years after the first summit was hosted by Senegal’s seat of power in 2015. It came on the heel of escalating tension around food sufficiency in Africa and other low- and medium-income countries.
The Horn of Africa is on the verge of relapsing into a worst-case famine while four out of 10 countries with the worst food inflation last year, according to the World Bank, were African nations. Zimbabwe tops the list with a triple-digit food inflation rate.
The $30 billion commitment excludes other efforts targeted at attracting other private sector funding to the agriculture ecosystem.
At the summit themed ‘Food Sovereignty and Resilience’, President Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues across the region spoke extensively on their food sufficiency roadmaps and suggested policy options that could be explored to rescue Africans from the scourge of hunger.
Speaking at the closing ceremony yesterday, the President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said the development partners, who were actively involved in the boardroom sessions, “agreed to support these compacts with a sharp focus on results” and collectively committed $30 billion towards implementing the game-changing initiatives drawn from sub-regional clusters in the continent.
The president said the compacts developed for funding were 40 in total, and that initiatives that secure foods supply in the whole of the continent would be prioritised.
“It was three days ago that we all gathered here in Dakar for the Feed Africa Summit. We came in response to a clarion call out of Africa that it is time for Africa to feed Africa. The clarion call was that the time is right, and the time is now for Africa to feed itself. We came from Africa. We came from around the world.
“African heads of state and governments gathered in large numbers, 34 in total, to show their determination to feed Africa. They turned their political will into concrete actions. And they did so very passionately,” the former Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria said, disclosing the $30 billion was just the takeoff as others could come along.
Earlier at the opening event, Adesina disclosed that AfDB (the organizer of the summit) would commit $10 billion to the continent’s food sufficiency drives in the next five years. The bank also signed a letter of intent with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to scale up the production of 40 million farmers to feed 200 million Africans.
The AfDB boss said the outcome of the summit was unprecedented and demonstrated the resolve to activate policy actions to turn the potential of the continent to feed Africans.
At the closing press conference, he disclosed that the heads of state and government agreed to set up a regional council to oversee the implementation of the regional agriculture compacts in the coming months. He said he had informed the political leaders that it was not a task they would delegate.
He argued that the minimum ambition the continent with 65 per cent of the global arable land could have is to feed itself and others. He believes the summit was a new beginning in the quest for African food sovereignty.
Prime Minister of Senegal, Samuel Matekane, also described the summit as a huge success. He said the journey to achieving food sovereignty for Africa had begun and that all political leaders, development partners and the private sector have demonstrated sufficient commitment to the goal of weaning the continent’s essential supply of external shocks.