President of the AfDB Akinwumi Adesina speaking at Dakar 2
Adesina’s statements came in response to a question from Ahram Online about how the commitments and pledges made during the Dakar 2 Summit could benefit Egypt, the largest wheat importer globally
The three-day summit that took place in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, concluded on Friday.
Adesina said that Egypt is in a very sensitive spot on the global food market map given that the increase in the cost of importing food since the onset of the war in Ukraine impacted the country and, at the same time, climate change continues to affect its agricultural production capacity.
Egypt, the largest wheat importer in the world, imported $8 billion worth of the strategic grain in 2022 alone, he noted.
Tackling threats to food security is imperative for Egypt and the whole continent alike, he stressed
“The Country Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts we worked on during the summit regarding ensuring the food security in the continent will mean regional initiatives to meet the needs of all the African countries including Egypt,” Adesina noted.
The AfDB's president revealed that the bank has doubled its financing of the water pillar under Egypt’s Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) Programme from $1.6 billion to $3.6 billion.
The bank is integrating these efforts with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to tackle food and agriculture issues in Egypt, he added.
Within the NWFE programme, the AfDB is the key catalyst of the water pillar while IFAD is the main catalyst of the food pillar.
Adesina said that the bank is also working with the Egyptian government to enable Egypt to plant enough wheat to be self-sufficient.
The Dakar 2 Summit concluded with the announcement of Dakar Declaration on Food Sovereignty and Resilience.
According to this declaration, the participants, including Egypt, pledged to finalise the development of the compacts endorsed at the summit in collaboration with country stakeholders, development partners and the private sector to achieve food security and self-sufficiency, as well as establishing presidential delivery councils to oversee the implementation of the compacts.
The participants also committed to supporting the implementation of the compacts with time-bound and clearly measurable indicators for success, including concrete national policies, incentives and regulations to establish an enabling environment for wider and accelerated investments across the agriculture sector.
Moreover, the participants pledged to mobilise internal and external financing for the compacts from a broad range of bilateral and multilateral partners and the private sector, besides increasing financing from national budgets.
The declaration also included a commitment to requesting the African Union Commission and the AfDB follow up with various development partners to finalise their planned financial support to complement the $30 billion of financing announced at this summit, to report on the overall investment of development partners and ensure that the summit’s declaration is submitted to the February 2023 African Union Summit for consideration.