ROME, April 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Four multilateral development banks and financial institutions pledged close to US$17 billion in financing on Friday during a high-level forum, in a bold bid to address rising hunger on the African continent and to improve food security.
In addition, 18 African heads of state have committed to increase agricultural production by doubling current productivity levels through the scaling up of agro-technologies, investing in access to markets, and promoting agricultural research and development.
The pledges and commitments were made at the end of the two-day high-level dialogue – Feeding Africa: leadership to scale up successful innovations. The event was hosted by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CGIAR System Organization, on 29 and 30 April.
The US$17 billion in financial pledges came from AfDB, IFAD, the Islamic Development Bank Group the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.
“Let us now forge, today, a stronger partnership: a partnership for greater scale! A partnership to take technologies and innovations to hundreds of millions of farmers,” said African Development Bank president Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina in an address to leaders.
“We praise the African leaders’ commitment to increase agricultural productivity and improve food security for millions of Africans,” said IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo. “By modernizing African agriculture, small-scale farmers will be in a better position to bring more affordable food to consumers and create decent livelihoods for millions of young Africans involved in the processing, storage and marketing of food.”
Sub-Saharan Africa has a quarter of the world’s arable land but only produces 10 per cent of its agricultural output. The continent imports one-third of the calories consumed making food systems more vulnerable and dependent on external food supply chains.
Outcomes from this week’s high-level dialogue will feed into discussions at a preparatory meeting in Rome in July, ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit scheduled for later this year laying the foundation for Africa to present a unified voice to step up efforts and partnerships towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
African Development Bank: Amba Mpoke-Bigg| email: email@example.com
IFAD: Antonia Paradela | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FARA: Benjamin Abugri | email@example.com
CGIAR: Valerie Poire | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE International Fund for Agricultural Development