African Leaders Urged To Build Better Food Systems At 2023 AGRF Summit

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News in brief: The 2023 Africa Food Systems Summit called on leaders to build better food systems to promote food sovereignty, with focus on youth and women. It also discussed the result of the Dakar 2 Food Summit, and the need for collaborations in delivering on Africa’s food security and resilience goals.

The need for African leaders to build better food systems to promote food sovereignty was recently highlighted at the recently held 2023 Africa Food Systems Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It also featured a call to action to include youth and women at the center.

The summit was hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group on the sidelines of Africa’s annual agriculture summit. It brought together ministers of agriculture from several African countries, development partners, and private sector operators. They discussed the implementation progress and outcomes of the Dakar 2 Food Summit held in Dakar, Senegal earlier this year.

Dr. Martin Fregene, the AfDB’s Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industrialization, noted the importance of the summit. He said that it was a ‘defining moment’ in highlighting and unlocking innovation in food systems.

He also added that the forum allows African countries to take stock of measures made to achieve ‘productive, nutritious, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable’ food systems in the continent. These include political, policy and financial commitments.

Panel participants at the summit included Tanzania’s agriculture minister, Hussein Mohamed Bashe, and counterparts from The Gambia and Sierra Leone. They discussed key actions that their countries have taken to accelerate food production and systems like creating presidential delivery councils and agricultural transformation offices.

Private sector and development partners from the CGIAR, the World Bank, and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) also participated in the summit. They emphasised private sector, science, integrated public policies, and political participation in delivering on Africa’s food security and resilience goals.

In January 2023, the Dakar 2 Africa Food Summit demonstrated the strong commitment of African countries and development partners to achieve food security and resilience in Africa. Development partners announced support of more than $30 billion, including $10 billion over five years by the African Development Bank. Partner commitments since the Dakar 2 summit have exceeded $70 billion, AfDB said in a press release.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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