The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has prioritised global support for the bank’s programme to raise $3.3 billion for African women and youths in enterprise amongst the agenda he is discussing with global leaders in his current tours of some countries.
The tour is aimed at enabling the AfDB President to seek renewed visionary leadership and strategic alliances for the purposes of assuring food security globally, primarily through the right investments in agriculture in the African continent.
The AfDB, in a statement on Sunday, indicated that the funding support drive was in furtherance of Adesina’s believe that the future of food in the world depended on what Africa could do with agriculture.
The bank stated: “To expand opportunities for youth, women, and private sector players, Adesina is on a global mission to promote and seek support for the bank’s Affirmative Finance for Women in Africa programme, which aims to mobilise $3bn to support women entrepreneurs who historically lack access to finance, land, and land titles; a $300 million ENABLE Youth programme to develop the next generation of agribusiness and commercial farmers for Africa; and a new global investment marketplace, the African Investment Forum, which will be held in Johannesburg on November 7-9.
“With over 800 million people worldwide suffering from hunger and more than two billion affected by malnutrition, food insecurity remains a real threat to global development”, the bank stated.
The continent’s development finance institution expressed its desire for a food secure continent which would use advanced technologies, creatively adapt to climate change, and develop a whole new generation of ‘agripreneurs’ – empowered youths and women expected to take agriculture to the next level.
The bank quoted Adesina as lamenting the situation in which Africa continued to import what it should be producing, spending $35 billion on food imports each year, a figure he projected could rise to $110 billion in 2025 if present the trends continued.
He expatiated: “Africa receives only two per cent of the $100bn annual revenues from chocolates globally. 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.”