With over 800 million people in Africa suffering from hunger and more than two billion affected by malnutrition, African Development Bank (AfDB) says the continent which has vast farmlands does not need aid but what it described as “disciplined investments”.
AfDB President Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, who made this known says the future food requirement in the world will depend on what Africa is doing with agriculture. According to him, there is an urgent need to view investment and development opportunities in Africa through a totally different lens.
Addressing a global agriculture experts at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Adesina said his sense of urgency was premised on the fact that by 2050, an additional 38 million African will be hungry, a paradox of lack in the midst of plenty and Africa’s growing youth bulge.
Africa continues to import what it should be producing, spending $35 billion on food imports each year, a figure that is expected to rise to $110 billion in 2025 if present trends continue.
Africa receives only two percent of the $100 billion annual revenues from chocolates globally, but Adesina stated that “adding value to what nations produce, is the secret to their wealth. Producing chocolate instead of simply exporting cocoa beans does not require rocket science.”
Adesina, recognises that the lack of electricity is Africa’s biggest development impediment, as a result of this, the Bank’s new and ambitious Desert-to-Power
initiative aims to generate 10,000MW of power across Africa’s Sahel region with a bid to reducing migration and climate change impacts.
Speaking to a high-level round table of Dutch Business Leaders at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Adesina added that, informed key private sector leaders that “governance structures and business regulatory environments are changing in Africa.