Panafrican News Agency

Experts call for more efforts to address food security in Africa

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - Experts gathered in Kigali for a two-day Africa Food Security Leadership Dialogue, on Tuesday called for an urgent action for the African continent to meet its goal to end hunger by 2025.


The initiative on ‘Africa’s Commitment to End Hunger by 2025’, responds to the UN Secretary General’s Zero Hunger Challenge, they said.


One of the major purposes is to support countries to engage in multi-sectoral planning, coordinated implementation, monitoring and evaluation with financial commitments to food security and nutrition policies and programmes under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) framework.


Globally, nearly 821 million people are hungry, of whom 31 per cent are from sub-Saharan Africa, the 2019 State of Food Security and Nutrition by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) show.


Commenting on current trends, Sacko Josefa Leonel Correa, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, said that 20 out of 47 countries that participated in the biannual review exercise are on track to meet the Malabo declaration to end hunger by 2025.


"But the worsening food security situation is facilitated by conflicts and exacerbated by climate change," she said.


While official reports indicate that yet commitments made in the Maputo Protocol to allocate 10 percent of national budgets to agriculture and rural development policy for the achievement of this goal, experts stressed that harmonized governance of food security and nutrition by harnessing coordination efforts across sectors and stakeholders on the continent remain key to achieve these objectives.


Reacting to current efforts by African governments, Hafez Ghanem, Vice President of the World Bank for Africa, said that there is need to not only ensure food security but also nutrition security for Africans - which refers to availability of enough and nutritious food.


Reports indicate that fragile rural economies feed an unsustainable level of rural-to-urban migration, fuel political discontent and conflict across the continent.


In addition, climate variability and extremes are another key force behind the recent rise in global hunger and a deteriorating food security situation in Africa, the reports said.


"We see an increase in extreme weather events like more drought, and more flooding, and this is impacting African agriculture and African food security," Ghanem added.

-0- PANA TWA/VAO 6Aug2019