President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Agnes Kalibata, has said that Africa must strengthen her regional trade to achieve a sustainable and resilient food system.
She added that the step is critical to building a system that meets the health, environmental, social and economic aspirations of African citizens in both rural and urban areas.
Kalibata’s observations are contained in a press statement released by the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The former Rwandan minister of agriculture and animal resources, who leads the forum, further enjoined continental leaders to work to transform Africa’s food systems for the benefit of everyone.
“We need food systems that are equitable, sustainable, resilient and capable of meeting the global challenges of malnutrition, poverty and climate change as well as be responsive to emerging and unforeseen challenges such as those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ she said.
Kalibata, who has been appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit, announced that the 10th Annual Summit of AGRF has been scheduled to hold in Kigali, Rwanda, on September 8, 2020.
According to her, the Summit will feature the African Development Bank-supported (AfDB) Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) programme through its high-level session.
TAAT as an initiative funded by the AfDB seeks to boost Africa’s productivity to make the continent self-sufficient in key commodities including wheat.
Kalibata also said that the Summit has been themed “Feed the Cities, Grow the Continent: Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa.”
“It [the Summit] will address innovative options for accelerating African agricultural transformation in a post-COVID-19 pandemic era through the deployment of proven agricultural technologies and partnerships capable of bringing food security to African cities and rural communities,” she said in the statement.
She added that the event will be co-hosted by Rwanda and the AGRF partners group.