It is time for Africa to feed Africa, African nations spend almost $70 billion yearly on food imports, according to Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, who said that it is time for Africa to feed itself.
According to the African Development Bank, which is supporting the summit, the gathering aims to mobilise governmental commitment, support from development partners, and private sector investment to enhance food production in Africa.
The president of Senegal, Macky Sall, addressed leaders gathering in the capital of the West African nation for a summit on Wednesday, urging them to increase food production in Africa rather than relying on imports and aid.
According to estimates from the United Nations, the continent is currently experiencing its worst food crisis ever, with more than one in five Africans – a record 278 million people – suffering from hunger.
According to experts, long-term causes of food insecurity like climate change and violence have been exacerbated by heavy debt loads following the COVID-19 pandemic, rising prices, and the conflict in Ukraine.
Sall, who serves as the African Union’s chairperson, stated that Africa must learn to feed itself and contribute to feeding the rest of the world.
With over 60% of the land in this area being arable but not being used, he claimed, “We have the potential.” The paradoxical fact that we still need to import the necessities of our needs is apparent.
Over the course of the following three summit days, leaders will discuss their countries’ top goals for ensuring food security with development banks and other international partners like the US, the EU, and the UK.
Sall pleaded on nations to follow the 2003 Maputo statement on agriculture, which mandates that African states devote 10% of their national budgets to agricultural development.
While Senegal allots about 12%, he added several nations have not yet reached the goal.
He added that nations must aid smallholder farmers, who account for the majority of African farmers. According to Sall, there needs to be greater access for women and young people to money and land.