February 28, 2024

African Leaders Urged To Explore Local Solutions And Prioritise Investments In Agriculture To Alleviate Food Insecurity

Kigali, Rwanda, September 07, 2022: African leaders have pledged to identify, define and develop local solutions to challenges facing local agricultural production to build effective and sustainable food systems for the people of Africa, and deliver zero hunger by 2030.

The leaders, who included sitting and former Heads of State and Governments, as well as heads of the private sector and multilateral organizations, were hosted by Rwanda’s President, Mr. Paul Kagame, and H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn, the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Chair of AGRA and the AGRF Partners Group during the Presidential Summit at the ongoing AGRF 2022 Summit.

President Kagame, who chaired the session, urged African nations to implement bold actions to shore up food security, especially at this time of multiple global crises. He called for joint efforts by African leaders and other stakeholders to enhance resilience in the continent’s agricultural sector, to enable the continent to sustainably feed itself and future generations.

 “When we met one year ago, ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit, our continent put forward a strong common African position which needs to be built upon in order to effectively deliver results on the ground. Ultimately, it is about ensuring Africa is more resilient in the face of unexpected global shocks. But we are off track in achieving our agreed targets under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and the Malabo Declaration as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. The Covid-19 pandemic, ongoing conflicts, and the global supply chain and energy crisis are all placing an unusual strain on our food systems.” President Kagame said, highlighting the issues facing the continent’s food systems. He urged African leaders to walk the talk and provide for their citizenry.

H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn hailed the commitment of leaders present at the summit and the collective will and ambition to advance African food systems.

“The presence of more than five Heads of State and Government at this year’s AGRF Summit depicts the unprecedented commitment of our leaders to alleviate all forms of hunger, poverty, and malnutrition. Africa’s prosperity depends on translating commitments we have made into implementation. The continent’s plight requires collective will, voice, and action to radically transform our agriculture sector and turn our fortunes towards sustainable, self-sufficient economic growth. There is a need to boldly galvanize collective will amongst leaders to emphatically support agricultural transformation.” He said.

The session was also attended by Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, H.E. Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, Vice President Philip Mpango of Tanzania, and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. The session was also attended by H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) and H. E Lionel Zinsou, the former Prime Minister of Benin.

President Kagame also noted the need for increased investments and cited this as one of the ways to insulate countries from food shortages.

“Following the 2008 food price crisis, Rwanda invested heavily in post-harvest management, and this paid off during the pandemic. Africa should not be struggling with food insecurity given our natural endowments. Africa can feed itself and even feed others. This is an opportunity to work together, learn from each other and advance on ground solutions tailored to our specific contexts.”

President Kagame also challenged the continent, ahead of COP 27 in Egypt, to advocate for stronger commitments to reduce emissions and drive action on adaptation and resilience, particularly in developing countries.

The AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. Under AGRF’s current strategy, the Forum is particularly focused on driving the progress of the Malabo Declaration by 2025 as the priority set of commitments African Heads of State and governments have made to strengthen agricultural development at the center of the continent’s overall development and progress. The AGRF is organized by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation.   

The AGRF Partners Group is made up of 26 leading actors in African agriculture all focused on putting farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economies. Members include African Development Bank (AfDB), African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), African Union Commission (AUC), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Bayer AG, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), CGIAR System Organization, Corteva Agriscience, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Government of Rwanda, Grow Africa (AUDA-NEPAD), Heifer International, IKEA Foundation, International Development Research Center (IDRC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mastercard Foundation, OCP Group, Rockefeller Foundation, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), Syngenta Foundation, The Tony Blair Institute, UPL Limited, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Yara International ASA.

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