President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has restated the commitment of the bank to improve measures geared towards ensuring food security on the continent.
Adesina said this while highlighting some take-aways from AfDB’s 2023 Annual Meetings in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
He said the board of directors while commending the bank’s efforts in the past year, urged it to climate proof agriculture on the continent and ensure food security.
“In Europe, America and other developing countries, farmers have the insurance against hale, flood, disasters, they call it disaster payment. Our farmers have nothing.
“Therefore, we must climate proof agriculture and provide quality climate resilient agriculture technologies for our farmers. We must scale up access to crop insurance, livestock insurance
“It should not be because it did not rain then the livelihoods of farmers is all gone. so we were asked to do a lot on this area and we certainly will.”
The AFDB president said the bank was asked to do more on the issue of water security.
He commended the Government of Egypt for its outstanding work in this area.
“What you (Egypt government) are doing in your project for Nexus of water energy and food is good. That interconnectedness is very important
“So the AfDB will do a lot more in terms of water, how we harvest, store, manage water basins and also trans-boundary water resources on the continent,’’ he said.
On pandemics , Adesina said the bank was asked to do more especially on pharmaceuticals, adding that the bank had already introduced the Africa Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation in that regard.
According to him, the foundation will help Africa provide its own vaccines, medicine and drug in case of outbreak of pandemic .
The president said the board had urged the bank to ensure gender balance by increasing efforts toward providing finance to women .
The AfDB boss said the bank provided about $1.1 billion of finance to women businesses in Africa and was aiming to provide about $5 billion fund in that regard.
According to Adesina, infrastructure is a major challenge and the infrastructure damaged on the continent due to the effects of climate change needs to be rebuilt.
The AfDB scribe listed other areas the bank would focus more on to include, leveraging the private sector, wealth creation and Youth among others.
Adesina thanked the Presidents of Egypt, Comoros and Zimbabwe; Chairman of the African Union, Vice President of Tanzania; as well as Prime Ministers of Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, and Central Africa Republic.
He said their collective presence at the just concluded AfDB annual meetings showed the strong support the bank had in its drive to accelerate Africa’s development.
Adesina commended efforts of the Acting Governor, Central Bank of Egypt and former Chairperson of the Board of Governors, Hassan Abdalla, for the great hospitality the country showed participants at the 2023 annual meetings.
Adesina also commended participants and all who contributed in making the 2023 AfDB Annual Meetings a success while calling for more collaboration for the next meetings which would hold in Kenya.
The meeting, which started on May 22 ended on Friday, May 26.
By Lucy Ogalue