The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr. Akinwumi A. Adesina has disclosed that Africa needs to raise about $1 billion to finance food security for the continent.
Mr. Adesina speaking at the just ended African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), one of Africa’s largest agriculture forums disclosed that the funding is required to provide some 40 million farmers on the continent with agricultural technologies.
AfDB’s President disclosed that the funding will go a long way to decrease the incidence of hunger and malnutrition by 20 percent.
“We must deliver food security for Africa at greater scale and for that, Africa needs a lot of financing.”Mr. Akinwumi A. Adesina
Also, Mr. Adesina disclosed details about a Financing Facility for Food and Nutrition in Africa, which is a jointly sponsored initiative by the Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
This initiative, Mr. Adesina revealed is tailored to deliver world class Agricultural technologies to African farmers at large in order to strengthen food systems for the continent.
The Forum under the theme ‘Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food System’ was hosted by the Government of Kenya and the AGRF Partners Group.
AfDB’s participation at the Forum “is part of ongoing efforts to help align Africa’s voice with commitments to be made at the United Nations Food Systems Summit on 23 September”, the Bank disclosed.
Africa’s food systems
Dr. Beth Dunford, AfDB’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development made the case for the financing facility under development at the ‘Walking the Path to 2030: Commitments Framework session’, during one of the four AGRF engagements.
“The facility is both for Africa and by Africa. It responds to a call from African leaders to help African food systems build back better and stronger after Covid-19.”Dr. Beth Dunford
Dr. Dunford further disclosed that once the financing facility comes into operation, it will pool resources from a variety of partners and provide grants, loans and other financial instruments.
Also, Mr. Martin Fregene, AfDB Director of Agriculture and Agro-industry, while delivering a keynote speech at an AGRF side-event organized by Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), disclosed that Africa could be a “powerhouse for food systems”.
This, Martin disclosed could be achieved by scaling up agricultural technologies to achieve food security and will also deliver better nutrition while addressing challenges such as climate change.
While speaking on the ‘Getting to Zero: Sustainable Productivity session’, which sought to explore ways to increase access to fertilizer and other agricultural inputs, such as credit guarantees from the Bank’s, Mr. Fregene hinted on the need to ensure Africans have access to right amount of nutrition.
“The inputs gap is real in Africa, and until we tackle this issue in a sustained manner, it would be impossible for us to have a food system that will assure the right to healthy food for all Africans”Mr. Martin Fregene
In the meantime, AfDB earmarked $100,000 to support this year’s AGRF, which brought together delegates from governments, civil society, the private sector, and research communities.
Notable among the participants at the summit were the Bank’s Nnenna Nwabufo, Director General for the Bank’s East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office; Kevin Chika Urama, Senior Director of the Bank’s African Development Institute.
Also, in attendance were, Edson Mpyisi, Chief Financial Economist and Coordinator of the Bank’s Enable Youth program; Olukemi Afun-Ogidan, Digital Agriculture Flagship Coordinator.
Grace Vuhya Obeda, Principal Youth Employment Officer; Thierno Diarra, Principal IT Solutions Architect; and Hafou Touré from the Bank’s Agricultural Finance and Rural Development Department, were also in attendance.
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