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Africa’s new agriculture pledge on the cards

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Africa’s Presidents are expected to mobilize government resources, development partners and private sector financing to harness the continent’s food and agriculture potential, turning advocacy efforts into concrete action, at the upcoming action-driven Dakar 2 Summit.

Slated for the end of month, at the summit, private sector actors will commit to the development of critical value chains. Central Bank governors and ministers of Finance will bear the task of developing financing arrangements to implement food and agriculture delivery compacts, working with ministers of Agriculture, as well as private sector players, including commercial banks and financial institutions.

In addition, to strong political will of African heads of State, there calls for availability of technologies and platforms to deliver climate-smart agricultural practices at scale to millions of farmers, incredible successes of some countries in achieving self-sufficiency in selected crops in a very short period, all show that Africa can become a global solution provider for the rising food shortages in the world.

The three-day Summit will be hosted by Senegal’s President Macky Sall, and the current chairperson of the African Union. It will be co-hosted by the African Development Bank Group.

The Dakar 2 Summit builds on the first edition held in 2015 during which the Feed Africa: Strategy for Agricultural Transformation in Africa (2016-2025) of the African Development Bank Group was proposed.

After 6 years of implementation, the Bank Group has supported more than 250 million people to benefit from improvements in agriculture. This strategy also helped the Bank Group to promptly respond to the impact on Africa’s food security of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by launching a $1.5-billion African Emergency Food Production Facility to support 20 million farmers to produce 38 million metric tons of food valued at $12 billion. Within only 45 days after the launch of the facility, the Bank Group had approved $1.13 billion for operations in 24 countries.

A key part of the Dakar 2 Summit agenda will include presidential roundtable discussions, high-level plenary and ‘Food and Agricultural Delivery Compact’ sessions.

Globally, 828 million people suffer from hunger, with Africa accounting for 249 million or a third of that number. The irony is, Africa alone with 65 percent of the remaining arable land has the potential to feed 9 billion people in the world by 2050. Its vast savanna areas alone are estimated at 400 million hectares, of which only 10 percent is cultivated.

With the removal of barriers to agricultural development aided by new investments, Africa’s agricultural output could increase from $280 billion per year to $1 trillion by 2030. Investing in raising agricultural productivity, supporting infrastructure, climate-smart agricultural systems, with private sector investments all along the food value chain can help transform Africa into a breadbasket for the world.

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