By Francis Mwema, February 6, 2023, In a bid to create food security and speed up efforts to eliminate the growing number of deaths occasioned by hunger, the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr Akinwumi Adesina has renewed calls of banking on investments and partnerships.
The African Development Bank’s president who spoke at the Dakar 2 Food Summit in Senegal on Thursday relayed on the significant technological ways that the bank had adopted to spur agricultural productivity in various African countries.
Dr. Adesina in a panel discussion dubbed Building Multilateral partnership and financing support, said as the African development bank they have set their technological structure well to support the course of feeding Africa.
“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 earlier last week 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 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.
Meanwhile on his part the Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development Dr. Sidi Ould Tah, told the participants 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,” He 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.