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Africa has all it takes to eradicate hunger

Africa has all it takes to eradicate hunger
  • Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, emphasizes the need to harness the power of science, technology, and innovation to enhance agricultural productivity in Africa.
  • The 8th Africa Agribusiness and Science Week highlight the urgent need to tackle global hunger, exacerbated by factors like the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. 
  • Adesina emphasizes the importance of strengthening institutions like the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and supporting regional research and development organizations in Africa.

According to Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, Africa has the partnerships and technological capabilities to end hunger.

Adesina remarked on Monday during the opening session of the 8th Africa Agribusiness and Science Week (AASW) in Durban, South Africa, that action is required, along with strong finance.

“We must pull together the best of science, technology, and innovations to drive a more productive, efficient, and more competitive agricultural system,” Adesina told an audience of stakeholders in agriculture and agribusiness research and innovation in Africa.

Together with the South African government, the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank, and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) organized the event. The European Commission and the IFAD and UNIDO of the UN are further partners.

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The event, according to AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture Ambassador Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, could not have taken place at a more appropriate moment given the global hunger pandemic brought on by cascading forces like Covid-19 and climate change.

According to her, Africa must make the most of its potential, notably in science, and be proactive rather than reacting to shocks. She pushed the region to capitalize on its nascent population and vast natural resources. “Let us unlock the potential we have… We should feed Africans and we should feed the world,” Sacko said.

FARA Chairperson Alioune Fall spoke about how climate change and agriculture output are intertwined. "Climate change and its effect on the continent require new ways of doing things in almost all facets of our society," Fall said. "Africa's young farmers would not adopt nature-based approaches unless "they are effectively packaged, inexpensive, and technology-serviced.

According to Adesina, during the following seven years, African food systems have the potential to generate $1 trillion in value. In order to accomplish that, he stated, “For that to be achieved, we must strengthen and support the CGIAR with a lot more resources, ensure that it works in and delivers for Africa based on our priorities, and support regional research and development institutions, such as FARA and the sub-regional agricultural research organizations.”

The Feed Africa Summit, which took place in January in the Senegalese capital Dakar, is one of the African Development Bank's initiatives to improve food security in Africa. 34 heads of state and government were present. “Working with development partners from around the world and the African Union Commission, the private sector companies, and global and national agricultural research centers, we developed Food and Agricultural Delivery Compacts for 41 countries,” Adesina said. He also noted that summit partners have built on its success, mobilizing $72 billion so far, to support the national compacts.

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Every three years, 1,500 stakeholders come together for the 8th Africa Agribusiness and Science Week, the main continental platform for those involved in agriculture and agribusiness research and innovation in Africa, to assess progress in those areas, share knowledge, forge business partnerships, and identify key areas for coordinated action. In June 2016, the seventh AASW was held in Kigali, Rwanda.

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