Scaling up nutrition a key commitment at the African Agricultural Transformation conference

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On 21 October 2015, a High-Level Conference for an African Agricultural Transformation Agenda was held in Dakar, Senegal by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The event brought together Ministers beyond the agriculture sector including Finance, Economy and Rural Development and involved business leaders, civil society and technical experts from across the continent and abroad.

On 21 October 2015, a High-Level Conference for an African Agricultural Transformation Agenda was held in Dakar, Senegal by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The event brought together Ministers beyond the agriculture sector including Finance, Economy and Rural Development and involved business leaders, civil society and technical experts from across the continent and abroad.

The Conference resulted in strong commitments from Governments to undertake necessary reforms to prioritise agriculture, renew private-sector engagement and engage in innovative agriculture financing mechanisms for Africa.

The adoption of an action plan and wide-ranging partnerships to transform African agriculture into viable agri-business were the main outcomes of the event. The action plan includes a work stream fully dedicated to nutrition and strongly features the importance of investing in nutrition for development. (Download the action plan)

Among the decisions taken by the Finance and Agriculture Ministers and Central Bank Governors who attended the conference is to scale up nutrition programs across Africa to end malnutrition and hunger. During the conference, the AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina also announced the creation of a $300-million financing facility to channel more funds to African women in agri-business and provide bank guarantees.

"These are bold decisions. And nothing less than bold decisions are needed to transform Africa's agricultural sector and unlock its huge potential. We must leave here strongly committed to accelerate implementation of actions on these areas. We must act and act with a sense of urgency...We can do it, we will do it. We will feed Africa, we will feed the world." - Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank President

The conference also approved a list of organisations to lead initiatives aimed at raising agricultural productivity across the continent, in close partnership with the African Development Bank, the World Bank and development partners. These include the Forum for African Agricultural Research, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, as well as national agricultural research systems.

Also, the AfDB, the African Union Commission/New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization will work closely with other development partners in the development of agro-allied industrial zones and agricultural corridors. The goal is to accelerate investments in integrated infrastructure to improve the competitiveness of Africa in processing and value addition to agricultural products.

Other action plans aim to significantly increase commercial financing to the agriculture sector by establishing an African Agricultural Risk Sharing Facility

"You need high-profile events like these to get things done. It was important for the new President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to make this strategic decision at this early stage because it has drawn attention across Africa and encouraged the political and technical buy-in," - Ikhide Imumorin, Program Leader at Cornell University's College of Agriculture.

Learn more at the African Development Bank

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