R – President of Africa Development Bank Group, Mr. Akinwunmi Adeisina and two participants at the Dakar Sumit
By Favour Nnabugwu
African Development Bank Group AfDB plans to invest $10 billion over the next five years to boost Africa’s efforts to end hunger and become a primary food provider for itself and the rest of the world,
Bank Group President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, made announced at the Dakar 2 Africa Food Summit in Diamniadio, east of the Senegalese capital of Dakar.
Adesina called on more than 34 heads of state, 70 government ministers, the private sector, farmers, development partners, and corporate executives to work out compacts that would deliver food and agriculture transformation at scale across Africa.
He encouraged them to take collective action to unlock the continent’s agricultural potential to become a global breadbasket.
The Dakar 2 summit—under the theme Feed Africa: food sovereignty and resilience—takes place amid supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. More than a thousand delegates and dignitaries attended, including the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins.
The Government of Senegal and the African Development Bank Group are co-hosting the summit, eight years after the inaugural Dakar 1 summit where the newly elected Adesina announced the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy.
Opening the summit, President Sall who is also the African Union chairperson, said the time had come for the continent to feed itself by adding value and stepping up the use of technology.
“We must raise the bar. We must raise our ambition. We must arise and say to ourselves: it is time to feed Africa. The timing is right, and the moment is now. Feed Africa; we must,” said Adesina.
The bank head urged the leaders to turn political will into decisive actions to deliver food security for Africa,
“We must strongly support farmers, especially smallholder farmers, majority of whom are women, and get more young people into agriculture. And we must take agriculture as a business, not a development activity, and boost support to the private sector.”
development of the agriculture sectors. They will help us generate wealth, develop integrated infrastructure around special agro-processing zones, and add value.”
During the three-day summit, private sector players are expected to commit to national food and agriculture delivery compacts, to drive policies, create structural reforms, and attract private sector investment.
Central bank governors and finance ministers are expected to develop financing arrangements to implement the food and agriculture delivery compacts, in conjunction with agriculture ministers, private sector players, commercial banks, financial institutions, and multilateral partners and organisations