AFRICA – The impact of climate change, pandemics, hunger and malnutrition, rising fragility and conflict, and locust invasions in East and Southern Africa is taking a toll on the continent.

In particular, hunger poses an even greater risk than Covid-19 across the region as the number of people living with hunger increased from 214 million to 246 million between 2015 and 2020.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organization, have pledged to work closely with African leaders to address rising hunger on the continent and shore up adequate financing to transform and modernize Africa’s food production.

Transforming commitments into action, the parties are expected to announce new financing to support food transformation and the creation of jobs in Africa’s agro-industry.

According to AfDB, Agricultural and agro-business related activities could provide employment opportunities for millions of young Africans, who account for 70% of the population.

The development bank notes that, finding solutions will require strong backing from governments, development partners and the private sector.

People living with hunger in Africa increased from 214 million to 246 million between 2015 and 2020

African Development Bank

“Getting new and appropriate technologies into the hands of African farmers is a key part of addressing Africa’s agriculture and food security needs.

“Unless we show strong collective resolve and turn ambition into reality, we will be confronted with enormous food shortages on the continent,” African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said.

“Rapid population growth, urbanization and ongoing climate change will make this certain. The consequences of not acting would be devastating,” he added

IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo reiterated saying, “Africa has the potential to feed itself and feed the world.

“If we commit today to increasing investments in modernizing agriculture, providing skills, finance and better access to food value chains, agriculture has the potential to become a thriving and successful sector that creates jobs and provides livelihoods for small-scale farmers and rural populations – in particular, for millions of young Africans joining the job market.”

Enhanced productivity, integrated value chains and economies of scale are at the heart of Africa’s food security challenge.

AGRA unveils new center to train Africa’s agriculture leaders in sustainable practices

Recently, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) launched a centre to provide hands-on support to African leaders in the agriculture sector, to deliver food security and inclusive economic growth.

The Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) has been established with the financial backing of the German Development Cooperation through KfW Development Bank, and in partnership with the African Management Institute (AMI) and USAID’s Policy LINK.

The program targets leaders from eight countries i.e., Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The programme’s core focus will be on supporting leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society with the practical skills to navigate, coordinate and better implement solutions to national agriculture challenges.

It will also profile agro-ecological principles which are increasingly being recognized as contributing to sustainable farming and food production, and resilient food systems in the face of increasing climate change impacts.

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