AFRICA – The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, shared an ambitious vision for Africa’s food and agribusiness sector, estimating its worth to reach US$1 trillion by 2030.
This revelation was made during the World Food Prize Foundation’s Norman E. Borlaug Dialogue held in Des Moines, Iowa.
The theme of this year’s event, “harnessing change,” was centered around exploring innovative solutions to enhance innovation, adaptation, diversification, and resilient, sustainable food systems.
Several world leaders are actively working towards boosting food production and security across the African continent. They joined earlier for a global Feed Africa summit in Dakar, the Dakar 2 Summit.
Despite Africa being home to 65% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, it paradoxically imports most of its food.
African leaders are determined to attain self-sufficiency in food production and even become food exporters, considering the projected global population of nine billion by 2050, which will require increased agricultural productivity.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina outlined the achievements of the Dakar 2 summit, where 34 African leaders endorsed country food and agriculture delivery compacts, producing action-driven plans to ensure food security and unlock the continent’s agricultural potential within five years.
It aligns with the core of the African Development Bank’s Feed Africa strategy, launched in 2016, which has already benefited more than 250 million people through improved agriculture technologies.
Adesina mentioned that partners have committed over $70 billion to support these food compacts, with the African Development Bank expected to provide $10 billion over the next five years.
At the Borlaug Dialogue, President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia highlighted Ethiopia’s self-sufficiency in wheat production, partly attributed to the African Development Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative.
This initiative distributed over 100,000 tons of certified heat-tolerant wheat seeds, leading to a 1.6 million metric ton increase in wheat production in 2023.
Vice President Kashim Shettima of Nigeria emphasized the critical role of leadership in feeding Africa and advancing its development, stressing the importance of good governance to eliminate corruption and attract investors. Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Nigeria’s Plateau State further underscored the need to reduce administrative bottlenecks to incentivize investors.
The African Development Bank has committed $853 million to public-sector-initiated Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) and successfully mobilized $661 million alongside co-financing partners.
Collectively, these partners are investing over $1.5 billion to establish 25 agro-industrial zones and support ecosystems in 13 countries.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina encouraged investors to confidently invest in Africa’s food and agribusiness sectors, emphasizing the strong political will and the promising results.
The African Development Bank consistently contributes to the Borlaug Dialogue, supporting global efforts to enhance food security and agricultural sustainability.
This year’s Borlaug laureate is Heidi Kuhn, recognized for her farmer-focused development model and work that revitalizes farmlands, food security, livelihoods, and resilience in conflict-affected regions worldwide.
The African Development Bank’s initiatives to feed Africa received commendations from Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President Emeritus of the World Food Prize Foundation, and the Foundation’s President, Ambassador Terry Branstad.