“It is time for Africa to feed Africa”, high-profiled leaders stress at Dakar II Summit

SENEGAL – At the ongoing Dakar II Food summit, Senegalese President Macky Sall told leaders Africa must rise and become the breadbasket of the world instead of relying on imports and aid considering that 60% of arable land here that is not exploited.

The continent is facing its worst food crisis ever, with more than one in five Africans – a record 278 million people–facing hunger, according to United Nations estimates.

The summit strategically aims to map plans to unlock Africa’s food-producing potential, mobilize political commitment, development partner support, and private sector investment to increase food production in Africa said the African Development Bank, which is backing the summit.

“It is time for Africa to feed Africa,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, who said African countries spend around $70 billion annually on food imports.

In addition, he noted that the bank will commit US$10 billion over the next five years to support development in food and agriculture.

The bank also reported that there is keen interest from Tunisia in this week’s three-day Africa Food Summit. Tunisia, with its internationally recognized expertise in niche markets like olive, grain, and poultry, is hoping to support sub-Saharan countries as they develop their industries.

Mahmoud Elyes Hamza, Tunisia’s minister of agriculture, water resources, and maritime fishing, is representing Tunisia on behalf of President Kais Saied. Hamza seeks to open up opportunities for successful public-private partnerships in the agricultural sector.

Meanwhile, Among the international partners include Britain, whose Minister for Development and Africa will hold discussions with African leaders this week on rising food insecurity.

Andrew Mitchell will explore opportunities to expand British Investment into African countries to tackle this challenge and emphasize the importance of the UK working with African countries to grow economies and boost food security.

The UK says it is working with regional organizations like AGRA, Regional Economic Communities, and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to help strengthen food trade in Africa.

Senegal is a leading stable and democratic country in the region, growing in significance and influence, and the UK hopes to build a closer partnership and greater trade and investment ties over the long term, according to the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

Mr. Mitchell will also explore opportunities to expand UK investment into the country to make a real and lasting positive impact, complementing the 27 deals worth over £6.5bn from across Africa announced during the UK-Africa Investment Summit in 2020. It also announced £9bn worth of investment decisions.

The US is also represented by the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who seeks to strengthen US relations with Africa, where China has surpassed the US in trade and is aiming to increase its military presence.

President Joe Biden announced over US$15 billion in two-way trade and investment commitments, deals, and partnerships at the three-day December summit that drew delegations from 49 African nations to Washington.

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