Africa secures US$30bn from Dakar 2 Summit to boost agricultural productivity

AFRICA – Development partners in Africa have agreed to commit US$30bn to back the continent’s resolve to boost agricultural productivity and become a breadbasket for the world.

Among the development, partners are the African Development Bank, which plans to contribute US$10bn over five years, and the Islamic Development Bank, which intends to provide US$5bn.

The Second Dakar summit—under the theme Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience—took place amid supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which have revealed how the continent is over-reliant on imports to feed its people.

African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina said the continent and its partners are determined to see results and that implementation is critical to boosting food production and feeding Africa.

“The message was clear: we will work together to strongly support the implementation of the Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts at country levels,” Adesina said.

He said the heads of state and government committed to setting up presidential high-level advisory councils to oversee the implementation of the Compacts, to be chaired by the presidents themselves in their respective countries.

Adesina further pointed out that the bank has in the past two years invested $1 billion on 23 projects in special Agro-industrial processing zones in 11 countries, and added that participants in the summit sought support for agriculture-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs), burdened with an unmet financing need of about US$100 billion annually.

The AfDB and the government of Canada jointly announced the Agri-SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism, a blended finance facility that is expected to de-risk investment into small and medium agri-businesses and strengthen food systems across the continent.

With an initial contribution of $85 million from the Canadian government, the Mechanism will provide concessional finance and technical assistance to financial intermediaries, including agribusinesses, commercial banks, micro-finance institutions, and impact funds.

The summit also saw the launch of Mission 1 for 200, a joint program of the AfDB and the International Fund for Agricultural Development to help 40 million African farmers to produce 100 million tonnes of food for 200 million people.

Mission 1 for 200 is meant to build resilience by helping farmers adapt to climate change and reduce agriculture’s environmental impact and emissions.

Furthermore, the leaders at the summit agreed to allocate at least 10% of public expenditure to increase funding for agriculture. They also resolved to deploy robust production packages to boost productivity and increase resilience to achieve food security and self-sufficiency.

Tanzania, represented by its President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has secured US$120 million (Tsh280bn) from AfDB to boost its focus on four value chains through irrigation and logistics hubs.

President Samia said at the summit that her government is determined to give Tanzanian youths access to land ownership as part of a wider plan aimed at promoting youth engagement in agriculture to ensure their economic empowerment.

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