Dakar 2 Summit on Feeding Africa kicks off in Senegal - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Dakar 2 Summit on Feeding Africa kicks off in Senegal

A high-level three-day Summit holding under the theme “Feeding Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience kicked off on Wednesday in Dakar, Senegal.

The Summit, hosted by President Macky Sall of Senegal and Chairperson of the African Union is expected to explore ways of creating favourable conditions toward achieving food security in Africa. 

Jointly convened by the Government of Senegal and the African Development Bank, the Summit has in attendance, more that 1,500 people including Heads of State and Governments, Ministers in charge of Economy and Finance, Ministers of Agriculture and related sectors, Governors of Central Banks as well as private sector stakeholders, multilateral organizations, nongovernmental organizations, academics and scientists.

In his address, President Sall stated that Africa needs to learn to feed itself and contribute to feeding the world. He recalled that African Leaders in 2014, through the Malabo Declaration and its implementation strategy and roadmap, committed themselves to halve poverty and end hunger by 2025 by increasing agricultural investment to at least 10% of government budgets; encouraging women and youth in agricultural businesses and boosting intra-African agricultural trade.

By 2021, just two countries in sub-Saharan Africa – Mali and Zimbabwe – met that target. An analysis of 39 African countries by UK charity Oxfam found that spending on agriculture fell as a share of budgets between 2019 and 2021.

President Sall however, disclosed that Senegal allocates around 12% of its budget to Agriculture.

In his address, the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina stated that “it is time for Africa to feed Africa”. He disclosed that African countries spend around $70 billion annually on food imports and announced that the bank will commit $10 billion over the next five years to support development in food and agriculture.

“We have the potential, with around 60% of arable land here that is not exploited,” he said. “It is paradoxical that we still need to import the essentials of what we need”.

During the three-day Summit, leaders will present their national priorities on food security to development banks and other international partners such as the United States, European Union and Britain.

According to the African Development Bank, the Summit is expected to mobilize political commitment, development partner support and private sector investment to increase food production in Africa.

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reports that food security has of late, worsened in much of Africa, driven by protracted armed conflicts and the impacts of climate change, which has led to prolonged droughts in some areas and crop-destroying floods in others.

The situation was worsened by the COVID pandemic-provoked economic crisis, rising debt levels and recently, the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has adversely affected food security and attendant price increases as well as led to fuel and fertilizer price increases.

Agriculture makes up nearly 20% of Africa’s GDP and more than half of Africans work in the sector, according to the World Bank. Most of this is low-productivity subsistence farming, and the region is a net importer of staples including wheat, palm oil and rice, the FAO says.

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