African Development Bank is leading the drive for better food systems at the 2023 Africa Food Systems Summit.

From left to right: Mr. Hussein Mohamed Bashe, Minister of Agriculture Tanzania; Dr. Demba Sabally, Minister of Agriculture, The Gambia; Dr. Henry Musa Kpaka, Minister of Agriculture, Sierra Leone; Dr. Victor Oladokun, Senior Adviser to the African Development Bank President

The 2023 Africa Food Systems Summit, held recently in Dar es Salaam, called on African leaders to build better food systems and promote food sovereignty, taking payments. Youth and women are the center.

On the sidelines of the annual Africa Agriculture Summit, the African Development Bank Group hosted an event on food sovereignty and resilience. This follows the Dakar 2 Culinary Summit held in Dakar, Senegal earlier this year.

The session brought together agriculture ministers from several African countries, including Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Guinea Bissau, development partners and private sector stakeholders. They discussed the implementation progress and outcomes of the Dakar 2 summit in their respective countries.

Dr. Martin Fregene, the African Development Bank’s Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industrialisation, said:
“The 2023 Africa Food Systems Forum is a defining moment for highlighting and unlocking innovation. It allows us to take stock of the political, policy and financial commitments African countries have made to achieve productive, nutritious, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food systems in the continent.”

Panel participants included Tanzania’s agriculture minister, Hussein Mohamed Bashe and his counterparts from The Gambia, Dr Demba Sabally and Dr. Henry Musa Kpaka, of Sierra Leone.

Other participants were Dr. Martien van Nieuwkoop, global director at the Agriculture and Food Global Practice; Donal Brown, associate vice-president, for programme management at the International Fund for Agricultral Development (IFAD); Dr Simeon Ehui, regional director for continental Africa at CGIAR, and director general of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture; Nivedh Shetty, ARISE IIP; Dr.
Victor Oladokun, senior advisor to the African Development President; and Richard Ofori-Mante, acting director of the Bank’s Agricultural Finance and Rural Development Department.

Hussein Bashe highlighted key actions that Tanzania has taken to accelerate food production and systems. This included the creation of the Presidential Delivery Council, the establishment of the Agricultural Transformation Office and Agriculture Delivery Unit, and a Build a Better Tomorrow me that promotes and supports youth informing and agriculture. Hussein said:
“Africa must escape the shame of not being able to feed itself. For Tanzania, food self-sufficiency is of particular importance.

Gambia and Sierra Leone also emphasize systemic and structural development in rice, cassava and livestock value chains.

Private sector and development partners CGIAR, World Bank and IFAD emphasize the important role of the private sector, science, integrated public policy and political will in ensuring food security reality and resilience of ‘Africa.

In January 2023, the Dakar 2 Africa Food Summit demonstrated the strong commitment of African countries and development partners to food security and resilience in Africa.

Development partners have announced more than $30 billion in support. This includes $10 billion over five years from the African Development Bank committed to support implementation of national agreements at the summit. Partner commitments since the Dakar 2 summit have exceeded $70 billion.

Ofori-Mante urged participants to translate shared knowledge into concrete action in their countries, communities, organizations and institutions.

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