The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have agreed to strengthen joint efforts aimed at growing agriculture sector investments in Africa.
The organisations will raise up to $100-million over five years to support these activities, which are aimed at ending hunger and malnutrition on the continent.
The strategic alliance also seeks to enhance the quality and impact of investment in food security, social protection, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development.
“Leveraging investments in agriculture, including from the private sector, is key to lifting millions of people from hunger and poverty in Africa and to ensuring that enough food is produced and that enough rural jobs are created for the continent’s growing population,” commented FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva.
“The signing of this supplementary agreement between AfDB and FAO signals the commitment to accelerate the delivery of high-quality programmes and increased investment for public–private-partnerships in Africa’s agriculture sector. This will help us achieve the vision of making agriculture a business, as enshrined in AfDB’s Feed Africa strategy,” added AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina.
The Feed Africa strategy, launched in 2015, seeks to invest $24-billion into African agriculture over a ten-year period.
Long-term collaboration between the AfDB and the FAO began in 1968. Since then, the FAO has provided technical assistance to the formulation of 161 projects financed by the bank, valued at more than $3.7-billion and representing about 21% of the bank’s support to the agricultural sector.
Recent collaboration between the AfDB and the FAO includes project formulation support in Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea; technical assistance for the development of blue economy programmes in Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco and Cape Verde, feasibility studies for agricultural transformation centres in Zambia, Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire; and participation in the African Leaders for Nutrition initiative.
The bank and the FAO have also contributed to a series of continental dialogues on post-harvest loss reduction, and the Great Green Wall of the Sahel and Sahara Initiative, which is aimed at growing an 8 000-km-long line of trees and plants across the Sahel to reverse land degradation and desertification in the region, boost food security and help local communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.