More than 34 heads of state and 70 government and industry officials, delegates and dignitaries, converged in Diamniadio, East of Senegal capital Dakar, for the Dakar 2 Africa Food Summit on Wednesday.
Food control should be Africa's new weapon of freedom - African Union leaders
The African Development Bank Group plans to inject $10 billion in making Africa the food basket of the world over the next five years so as to it's hunger problem and become the primary food provider for the world.
The Summit was held under the theme "Feed Africa: food sovereignty and resilience" and led by Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina who, during the opening ceremony, called upon all African leders in the different capacities to work out ways of unlocking Africa's agricultural potential.
The Senegalese government co-hosted the summit with African Development Bank Group eight years after the first one where Adesina announced the Bank's Feed Africa strategy.
Speaking at the summit the Chairperson of the African Union Commisiion, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said the summit was timely in bringing together development partners to refocus on innovative solutions to cut dependency on food imports.
He urged leaders to work within existing structures such as: Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area for development sustainability.
“Food sovereignty should be our new weapon of freedom,” Mahamat said.
He was backed by President Sall, also the African Union chairperson, who said, "from the farm to the plate, we need full food sovereignty, and we must increase land under cultivation and market access to enhance cross-border trade."
However, the President of Kenya, William Ruto, expressed dissatisfaction with the slow progress of African initiatives saying, “It is a shame that 60 years after independence, we are gathered to talk about feeding ourselves. We can and we must do better.”
Adesina asked leaders to turn political will into grassroot actions to deliver food security for the continent.
“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.”
President Michael D. Higgins of Ireland urged leaders to "make this century Africa’s Century, one which will see the continent become free from hunger."
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