President in Senegal for key Feed Africa Summit
Vusumuzi Dube in DAKAR, Senegal
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa arrived in Dakar, Senegal, last night where he will attend the Dakar II Feed Africa Summit.
The President will join at least 20 other African Heads of State, development partners and private sector financing leaders for the high-level discussions on roadmaps for achieving food sovereignty on the continent.
Running under the theme “Feeding Africa: Food Security and Resilience”, the summit is organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and will be held at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Centre (CICAD) in Diamnadio, with over 1 500 delegates expected to attend.
President Mnangagwa is accompanied by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, Lands, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka and other senior Government officials.
He was met at the Blaise Diagne International Airport, 43km east of Dakar, by Zimbabwean Ambassador to Senegal Mr James Maridadi, embassy staff and senior Senegalese government officials.
The gathering will showcase programmes already contributing to African food sovereignty and resilience.
This includes the African Development Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) platform, which is delivering heat-tolerant wheat, drought-tolerant maize, and high-yield rice seeds to 11 million African farmers in 21 countries.
Giving a brief on the summit, Dr Martin Fregene, Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry at the African Development Bank, said TAAT will produce 100 million metric tonnes of additional food to feed 200 million people.
He said: “We know what works in Africa. Taking agricultural technology programmes like TAAT to scale does more than boost agricultural outputs. It increases wealth, creates jobs, and opens our markets up to regional and international trade. It is critical to support these efforts. Africa stands to gain — the world stands to gain — from such a concerted effort.”
President Mnangagwa and Senegal Justice Minister Ismaila Madior Fall. -Picture: Tawanda Mudimu
During the summit, heads of state and government will convene sessions to develop transformational country-specific food and agriculture delivery compacts. Development partners and the private sector will also play significant roles during sessions and the overall summit.
The inaugural edition was held in 2015, during which the Feed Africa Strategy for Agricultural Transformation (2016-2025) in Africa was proposed.
After six years of implementation, the Bank Group has supported more than 250 million people to benefit from improvements in agriculture.
This strategy also helped the Bank Group to promptly respond to the impact on Africa’s food security of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by launching a US$1,5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility to support 20 million farmers to produce 38 million tonnes of food valued at US$12 billion.
Within only 45 days after the launch of the facility, the Bank Group had approved US$1,13 billion for operations in 24 countries.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and several bilateral partners are among international supporters of the summit