The African Development Bank Group has launched its “Feed Africa: A Strategy for Agricultural Transformation in Africa 2016-2025” in Southern Africa by hosting an implementation and engagement workshop in Lusaka, Zambia
The objective of this regional workshop, organised by the Department for Agriculture and Agro-industry (OSAN) of the AfDB, 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 the Zambian Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya, 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$35.4bn per annum, which is projected to increase to US$110bn by 2025 if we do nothing.” He announced that the African Development Bank intends to contribute to US$2.4bn annually for the next 10 years, in order to bridge the financing gap. “We hope this will encourage others to contribute to the US$30bn needed annually for an agricultural transformation in Africa,” he said.