Fresh bid to train Africa’s agriculture leaders
A solar-powered irrigation scheme in Nasho, Eastern Province. / Photo: File.
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has launched a centre to provide hands-on support for African leaders in the agriculture sector. This could help achieve food security and inclusive economic growth.
Launched on April 28 in Nairobi, the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) is a key part of a scale-up of investment to AGRA by the German Development Cooperation through KfW Development Bank, AGRA said through a press release.
In addition to KwF’s founding financial support and AGRA’s lead role, the Centre’s founding partners also include the African Management Institute (AMI) and USAID’s Policy LINK.
CALA represents a deepening of AGRA’s ongoing support to state capability and is complementary to the technical assistance it has been providing to transform national and regional agriculture priorities alongside government, public and private sector partners.
“Africa’s agriculture is full of opportunity. However, as the last years have shown, as a continent we also face many threats brought about by natural shocks, such as climate change, and the challenges of continental trade and policy coordination,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA in launching the centre.
“Our experience at AGRA has taught us that achieving Africa’s food security targets and achieving inclusive economic growth will require leaders who are responsive, adaptable and collaborative, while also being ready to integrate new strategies for environmentally sustainable agriculture together with a diverse set of stakeholders.”
African Heads of State through their Malabo Declaration of June 2014, recommitted to end hunger by 2025 and reduce stunting among the continent’s children to 10 per cent.
The declaration also affirmed their commitment to enhancing investment in Agriculture and uphold 10 per cent public spending target to the sector, which is largely not implemented on the continent.
However, in 2019, experts in the agriculture sector warned that Africa was off-track to achieve the zero hunger target in less than five years come 2025.
The 2019 State of Food Security and Nutrition by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) show that Africa is the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment as over 256 million Africans were hungry – almost 20 per cent of its estimated 1.2 billion population.