Would the future of food in the world depend on what Africa does with agriculture?

apo-logo - Can the future of food in the world depend on what Africa does with agriculture?

The answer is a resounding yes! According to Akinwumi Adesina, a noble group of international agricultural experts at the headquarters of the FAO in Rome, the World Food Prize Laureate 2017 and president of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), Akinwumi Adesina, is a resounding yes!

He believes that Africa needs no help, but disciplined investments. According to this grandson of a self-sufficient farmer, he says that the time has come to look at investment and development opportunities in Africa through a totally different lens.

With more than 800 million people worldwide suffering from hunger and more than two billion people suffering from malnutrition, food insecurity remains a real threat to global development.

Adesina, who makes a global pitch for renewed visionary leadership and strategic alliances, "the future of food in the world will depend on what Africa does with Agriculture."

The African Development Bank, which he leads, provides a food-secure continent that uses advanced technologies, adapts creatively to climate change and develops a whole new generation of what he describes as agribusinesses & # 39; – authorized young people and women that he expects to take agriculture to the next level.

By 2050, another 38 million Africans will suffer from hunger. The paradox of lack of abundance, and the growing youth barrier in Africa, are some of the reasons why Adesina's sense of urgency resonates with many government, private sector and multilateral leaders on recent European and Asian journeys. The banker and the winner of the World Food Prize 2017 will be the first to admit that he himself is the evangelist-in-chief & # 39; for a food-safe Africa.

Africa continues to import what it should produce by spending $ 35 billion annually on food imports, a figure that is expected to rise to $ 110 billion by 2025 if current trends continue.

A few days later Adesina joined Rockefeller Foundation, President Raj Shah, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, and 2018 World Food Prize nominees Lawrence Haddad and David Navarro, alongside other leading global academics, development and agricultural experts from Wageningen University and Research, in The Netherlands, to argue for urgent collective action by state and non-state actors to accelerate the growth and transformation of agriculture in Africa.

Africa receives only 2 percent of the annual turnover of chocolates worth $ 100 billion worldwide. Adesina tells his audience that "adding value to what countries produce is the secret of their wealth." Producing chocolate instead of exporting only cocoa beans does not require rocket science. "

To expand the chances for players in youth, women and the private sector, Adesina has a global mission to promote the bank's Affairative Finance for Women in Africa (AFAWA) program and seek to mobilize $ 3 billion to support female entrepreneurs who lack access to finance, land and land titles in the past; an ENABLE Youth program of $ 300 million to develop the next generation of agribusiness and commercial farmers for Africa; and a new global investment marketplace, the African Investment Forum, to be held in Johannesburg from 7-9 October.

In separate meetings with Sigrid A.M. Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, in The Hague; Peter van Mierlo, CEO of the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), major players in the private sector and members of the Advisory Council for Foreign Affairs, Adesina, said that Africa and its partners should seize unprecedented opportunities for innovative partnerships and a greater development impact.

Mierlo believes, "a big advantage for Africa is that it could skip development cycles that often had to endure almost all developed countries by using new technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics in agriculture".

On a continent with more than 640 million without electricity, Adesina says that the private sector is the key to the development of Africa in the energy and agriculture sectors in Africa.

"If Africa turns the tide of irregular migration, this is crucial, there are three ways we can work together: through the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility, Africa 50 – a private equity institution that has more than US $ 850 million. from 22 countries and the new Africa Investment Forum. "

Adesina, recognizes that the lack of electricity is Africa's biggest developmental delay. The Bank's new and ambitious Desert-to-Power initiative, with the aim of generating 10,000 MW of electricity in the Sahel region, will be crucial to reducing the effects of migration and climate change. We will do this through a mixed financial mechanism with guarantees, "said Adesina.

Speaking with a high-level toptable of Dutch business leaders at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), important private sector leaders informed that "governance structures and business-regulating environments are changing in Africa." Indeed, several African countries have already made significant progress in improving their overall business and investment environment, Africa is doing better than some of the Asian countries, "he reminded his audience. "In the energy sector, the African Development Bank is investing $ 12 billion over the next 5 years, with a target leverage of $ 40-50 billion, and an additional $ 24 billion, over ten years, in agriculture to support the Feed Africa strategy. implement. "

Agriculture is steadily taking the lead

The strategy is already bearing fruit with the establishment of processing zones for staple crops in various African countries, including Ethiopia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique, with a plan to reach 15 countries in a few years.

Strategically located in and around rural farming communities, Adesina says: "These agricultural zones will form the core of a new wave of agro-industries and greenfield companies, attracting agribusinesses, biotechnology companies, intellectual and capital investments, and will also ensure that foodstuffs are processed and packaged at the place where they are produced, rather than in urban centers far from production centers. "

Described by many colleagues as a visionary optimist, Adesina believes that the bank's policies and investments will help to turn rural areas from economic misery into economic welfare zones.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

For more information contact:

The African Development Bank, Communications Department. [email protected]

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