The Department for Agriculture and Agro-industry (OSAN) of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), on November 8, 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia, organized the Southern Africa Region implementation engagement workshop.
The objective of this regional workshop was to gain support from stakeholders in the Southern Africa Region by engaging participants on the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy.
The event brought together over 150 participants from the public and private sectors – including the civil society organisations, youth, women, academia, and development partners, among others – across the South Africa Development Community region. The meeting was formally declared open by Dora Siliya, Minister of Agriculture, Zambia, who emphasised the need for Africa to do more than brandishing her potentials and to implement the strategy in a smart way by ensuring that agriculture is considered a business.
Also speaking on the occasion, the Bank’s Resident Representative in Zambia, Damoni Kitabire, reiterated that “Agriculture must be the engine of Africa’s economic transformation.”
In another presentation, the Bank’s Lead Agricultural Economist, Ken B. Johm, observed that “Africa currently faces a staggering food import bill of US $35.4 billion per annum which is projected to increase to US $110 billion by 2025 if we do nothing.” He announced that the African Development Bank intends to contribute to US $2.4 billion annually for the next 10 years, in order to bridge the financing gap. “We hope this will encourage others to contribute to the US $30 billion needed annually for an agricultural transformation in Africa,” he said.
A panel discussion, which included Julius Shawa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture; George Okech, Food and Agriculture Organization Representative, Zambia; Professor Lloyd Chingambo, CEO, Lloyds Financials Ltd. and Chairman of the National Economic Advisory Council; Coillard Hamusimbi, Head, Agribusiness Services, Zambia National Farmers Union; Chance Kabaghe, Executive Director, Indaba Agriculture Policy Research Institute (IAPRI); Silvia Banda, Founder and Owner of Silva Food Solutions; Martin Muyunda, Director, Golden Valley Agriculture Research Institute; Inonge Siziya, a master’s student from University of Zambia and a representative from Lusaka West District Farmers Association;
The panel highlighted the importance of an increased productivity, on the need for inclusivity for women and youth. The panellists also underscored the need for consistency in the enabling policy environment in implementing the strategy amongst African nations.
As part of the Bank’s High 5 agenda, the Feed Africa strategy has four specific goals: to contribute to eliminating extreme poverty in Africa by 2025; to end hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2025; to make Africa a net food exporter; and, to move Africa to the top of export‑orientated global value chains, where it has comparative advantage.