President Paul Kagame has called for collective efforts to end hunger on the African Continent, rooting for the right use of technologies to deal with climate change, leverage trade opportunities, and strengthen multilateral partnerships to achieve the goal.
The Head of State made the call on Monday while speaking at the on-going African Food Security Leadership Dialogue (AFSLD) in Kigali.
“We are off track with the Malabo Declaration target to eradicate hunger by 2025. In fact, since it was signed in 2014, undernourishment has been rising again in many African countries,” the President warned.
Noting that “almost 20 per cent of Africans are undernourished”, the Head of State assured other leaders that the problem can be ended with the right kind of technology, partnership, and cooperation.
“Here in Rwanda, we have had our struggles with this (malnutrition). But I assure you, with the knowledge that has been put in our hands, the technology, the support of partners, and ensuring that everyone participates, we are going to fix this problem and we are going to succeed. If we can, everyone can,” he said.
He warned that “undernourishment will negatively impact today’s children throughout their lives” if left unchecked.
“The entire human development agenda in Africa is at risk,” he said, calling for action.
With the ‘2019 State of Food Security and Nutrition’ report by FAO indicating that 31 per cent of the nearly 821 million people who are hungry worldwide come from sub-Saharan Africa, Kagame called for collective efforts among partners to end the threat.
He said that the efforts will include adapting to climate change to increase agricultural production, improve national governance to end conflicts, and harness trade and private sector investments across the continent.
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“Increased agricultural productivity is essential for eradicating hunger and undernourishment. But food security is not where we stop. We want a continent that is truly prospering in every sense of the term. And agriculture is undoubtedly the foundation of Africa’s prosperity. That is the larger ambition we must challenge ourselves to achieve. We owe it to the generations that follow us,” he said.
The two-day event brought together different stakeholders as part of facilitating their engagement in boosting collective action aimed at adapting Africa’s agriculture and food systems to climate change in order to improve on the continent’s food security.
Hosted by the Government of Rwanda, the meeting was organised by core partners that include the African Union Commission, the World Bank Group, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the African Development Bank, as well as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The dialogue brought together delegates that include Heads of State, ministers of agriculture and finance, heads of international institutions and Regional Economic Commissions (RECs), Nobel prize laureates, and eminent scientists in order to catalyse actions and financing to help address Africa’s worsening food security crisis under recent climate change.