Dr Akinwumi Akin Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, says there is no need for Africa to beg other countries for food.
He noted that there is no dignity in Africa – the Continent, known for its rich natural resources, youthful population, and occupying about 20 percent of Earth’s total land area, to depend on others for food sovereignty.
As such, he said, the time had come for the continent to bring together, the needed support and resources including agricultural technologies, to produce enough to ensure that Africa was food sufficient.
Dr Adesina, said: “Africa does not need bowls in hand; Africa needs seeds in the ground and mechanical harvesters to harvest bountiful food produced locally. Africa must feed itself with pride. There is no dignity in begging for food.”
“We all agreed it is time to support Africa to produce its food. It is time to have food sovereignty. Food aid cannot feed Africa,” Dr Adesina added.
He said this during the opening of the 2022 Annual Meetings of the AfDB Group, in Accra.
“The Bank is leading on securing Africa’s food supplies in the face of climate change,” he said.
The AfDB President stated that its Feed Africa strategy, launched six years ago, was achieving “incredible success,” as it had already benefitted over 76 million farmers with access to improved agricultural technologies.
Additionally, its flagship programme, Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) has delivered climate smart seeds to 12 million farmers in 27 countries in two years.
Also, the Bank, has developed the Africa Emergency Food Production Plan – a $1.5 billion strategy, to tackle the looming food crisis in Africa from the Russian-Ukraine war through the production of food rapidly.
The plan is expected to produce 38 million metric tonnes of food, including wheat, maize, rice, and soybeans, with a total value of $12 billion additional food production.
On his part, President Akufo-Addo, said: “We must light-up and power Africa to enable her feed herself, integrate and industrialise. It is time we worked to address the structural barriers to our development.”
This is because the rising food prices disproportionately affect African families, as food consumes some 40 percent of household income, compared to less than 20 percent in advanced economies.
Aside this, he said, “We must also deal with ‘tax-dodging’ and illegitimate commercial transactions by multinationals, which account for sixty percent of the US$88 billion of illicit financial flows from the continent annually, and other relationships which inhibit our development.”
President Akufo-Addo, emphasised that: “The confluence of rising challenges and expectations require that together, we act with sustained conviction. Our support will be critical to building the Africa we want.”