Food security at center of African Development Bank annual meeting


Prioritizing agriculture for its role in poverty reduction, overcoming hunger and food insecurity, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group said its annual meeting in India will focus on food security in Africa.

The 52nd Annual Meetings of AfDB Group will be held on the 22nd to 26th of May 2017 in Ahmedabad, India. The Meetings will be held on the theme: “Transforming Agriculture for Wealth Creation in Africa” reflecting the significance of agriculture in Africa and in the Bank’s development work. The Annual Meetings are the Bank’s largest annual event.

Agriculture has a fundamental place in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Reflecting the global and continental agenda, the Bank has prioritized agriculture transformation by designating it as one of its High 5s: Feed Africa. Agriculture is an important economic sector in Africa given its significance to poverty alleviation, food security and economic transformation.

Africa spends about $35 billion per year on food imports and this figure could rise to $110 billion by 2025. The potential of the continent is not fully realized, resulting in under performance and chronic food shortages. Climate change also poses a serious threat to traditional production methods which are widely used in Africa by small scale farmers.

Africa has the potential to become a global agriculture powerhouse and the setting of the next Green Revolution. Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Senegal and Burkina Faso provide valuable examples of successful agriculture transformation towards this goal spearheaded by the Bank.

“The Bank has committed to invest $24 billion towards agriculture in the next 10 years, with sharp focus on food self-sufficiency and agricultural industrialization. The Bank has also launched a $500 million Fund for Energy Inclusion with $100 million seed capital, to provide affordable finance for companies investing in renewable energy,” says Mr. Gabriel Negatu, AfDB Regional Director for the East Africa Regional Resource Centre.

The Annual Meetings will bring together thousands of delegates and participants, and will feature a number of official, knowledge and side events. The Governors of the Bank are from the 54 regional member countries and 26 non-regional member countries. The Annual Meetings provide a unique forum for representatives of government, business, civil society, think-tanks, academia and the media from Africa and beyond to debate key issues on Africa’s development, and to discuss the Bank’s performance in delivering on its mandate.

India agreed to host the 2017 Annual Meetings last year and a Memorandum of understanding was signed in September 2016. Delhi joined the African Development Bank in 1982 making the country a key member of AfDB’s 24 Non-Regional Member Countries which support the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional resource window of the Bank.

Bilateral trade between Africa and India stands at $57b per year as of 2016, and this is expected to double by 2018.