President of the AfDB Group Akinwumi Adesina speaking at the event
President of the AfDB Group Akinwumi Adesina made the announcement during the three-day Dakar 3 Summit that kicked off on Wednesday in Diamniadio, east of the Senegalese capital of Dakar.
Adesina called on more than 34 heads of state, 70 government ministers, the private sector, farmers, development partners, and corporate executives to work out compacts that would deliver food and agriculture transformation at scale across Africa.
He also urged them to adopt a collective action to unlock the continent’s agricultural potential to become a global breadbasket.
Dakar 2, co-organised by the AfDB and the Senegalese government, is being held under the theme “Feed Africa: Food sovereignty and resilience.”
In his recorded message to the summit, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged that Africa is currently facing the challenges of climate change and food insecurity, adding that the Russia-Ukraine war had caused the price of fertilisers to soar and made their supply difficult.
Guterres pledged the UN’s support to help Africa become a global food powerhouse.
President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari said countries must offer more solid support for farmers, dedicate a chunk of the national budget to agriculture, and motivate youth and women to farm.
“Feeding Africa is imperative. We must ensure we feed ourselves today, tomorrow, and well into the future. Special agro-industrial processing zones are game-changers for the structural development of the agriculture sectors. They will help us generate wealth, develop integrated infrastructure around special agro-processing zones, and add value,” Buhari added.
During the summit, private sector players are anticipated to commit to national food and agriculture delivery compacts, create structural reforms, and attract private sector investment.
Meanwhile, central bank governors and finance ministers are expected to develop financing arrangements to implement these compacts together with agriculture ministers, private sector players, commercial banks, financial institutions, and multilateral partners and organisations.