African leaders have again at the 30th AU Heads of State and Government Summit under the theme, “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”, made an urgent call for action for hunger to end on the continent by 2025.
They also sought the creation of food hub as one of the measures to actualise the target.
The call for action was made during the High-Level Forum under the theme “Renewed Partnership to End Hunger in Africa by 2025”, hosted by the African Union Commission in partnership with the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia with the support of FAO and ECA.
The forum held on the margins of the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union presented results of the progress made in the Implementation of the AU Malabo Declaration with particular emphasis on Commitment 3: Ending Hunger in Africa by 2025; and identified areas of success, as well as specific areas that need to be strengthened both at national and regional levels to drive actions towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and particularly in the eradication of hunger.
The inaugural Malabo Declaration Biennial Report reveals that the continent is “not on track” with regard to ending hunger indicators, with a score of 1.62 in 2017 compared to a benchmark of 3.17.
This is in agreement with the 2017 UN State of Food Insecurity Report showing that there was “slow progress” toward achieving food security and nutrition indicators. This said to be closely associated with the increase in conflict in Africa exacerbated by climate related shocks, drought and other factors that threaten to reduce agricultural and livestock productivity of the African Continent.
The warning sign that Africa needs to step up its efforts and find new ways, working with its partners towards the goal of ending Hunger in Africa by 2025 is thus clear.
Alpha Condé, President of Guinea who opened the forum called on African countries and partners to harmonise their programmes and to create food hubs to ensure that food is available, accessible and affordable by all in the right quality.
Giving a key note speech, Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and AU Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Champion, reiterated that ending hunger requires a multi-sectoral and integrated approach, noting that, ‘As Africans, we should exercise our freedom to make policies and strategies that will make us achieve the different goals we set in the Agenda 2063, CAADP/Malabo Declaration, the SDGs and specifically the “No Poverty” and “Zero Hunger” by 2030 goals.”
The forum was attended by high level dignitaries including; former president Olusegun Obasanjo, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Josefa Leonel Correa Sacko; Former president of Nigeria, Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States; Mr. José Graziano da Silva, Director General of FAO, H.E. Dr. Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, H.E. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chairperson of the Africa Risk Capacity Board,-leaders of development agencies and financial institutions, African Ministers of Agriculture, leaders of civil society organizations and the private sector.
At the conclusion of the meeting, attendees agreed on a joint communiqué spelling out an 10-point action plan for AU Member States to renew their commitment to ending hunger in Africa by 2025. It includes investing in sustainable agriculture and establishing social protection programmes.