Africa’s push for food sovereignty and resilience depends on investments and partnerships, African Development Bank Group president Akinwumi Adesina said on Thursday at the Dakar 2 Food Summit a food summit in Senegal.
Speaking during a panel discussion on Building Multilateral partnership and financing support, Dr Adesina outlined how the bank was using technology to spur agricultural productivity in various African countries.
“Today we have the technologies to feed Africa; We need to put them into the hands of the farmers. The technologies are working and we have to deliver them at scale,” Adesina told the panel, moderated by Daouda Sembene, CEO of Africatalyst, a global development advisory firm.
The panel discussion was part of the three-day Dakar 2 Food Summit which was opened on Wednesday by Senegalese President Macky Sall. His government is co-hosting the Summit together with the African Development Bank Group.
Dr. Adesina recalled his five priority objectives, including Feed Africa, when he first assumed the bank. “Since then, more than 250 million people across the continent have benefitted from the bank’s investments, projects and programs, driven mainly by technology”, he said.
Adesina highlighted the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), which he said had significantly increased wheat yields in Ethiopia and Sudan. The Bank is rolling out Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones which are designed to transform Africa’s agricultural sector.
“We’re going to build on these to boost production and feed Africa. We are going to work not as individual institutions but as partners to achieve rapid results,” he said.
The Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development Dr. Sidi Ould Tah, said that as development partners, multilateral development agencies must work with governments, civil society bodies, farmers, and sister agencies to feed Africa.
“This is a new departure for Africa; It is a new momentum, and we believe that our common action will help Africa feed itself,” Tah said.
On his part, the President of the West African Development Bank Serge Ekue, said his organization plans to invest $2 billion over five years to support agriculture in Africa.
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. They included 34 Heads of State and Government, the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, more than 70 ministers, farmers, representatives from the private sector and development partners.