The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) have agreed to commit $100 million to fight hunger in Africa.
The joint effort is aimed at catalysing agriculture sector investments in Africa to end hunger and malnutrition and increase prosperity throughout the continent.
Specifically, the new strategic alliance seeks to enhance the quality and impact of investment in food security, nutrition, social protection, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development.
President of AfDB, Prof. Akinwumi Adesina and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva signed the agreement.
The agreement is builds on a longstanding collaboration between their organizations, at the UN agency’s Rome headquarters.
“FAO and the African Development Bank are deepening and broadening our partnership to assist African countries to achieve the sustainable development goals.
“Leveraging investments in agriculture, including from the private sector, is key to lift millions of people from hunger and poverty in Africa and to ensure that enough food is produced and that enough rural jobs are created for the continent’s growing population,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.’’
The FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads global efforts to defeat hunger.
President Adesina said: “The signing of this supplementary agreement is a milestone moment in the relationship between the African Development Bank and FAO.
“It signals our joint commitment to accelerate the delivery of high quality programs 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 the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy.”
AfDB’s Feed Africa Strategy, launched in 2015, targets to invest $24 billion in Africa’s agriculture over a ten-year period.
The aim is that of improving agricultural policies, markets, infrastructure and institutions to ensure that agricultural value chains are well developed and that improved technologies are made available to reach several million farmers.
The strengthened partnership between the African Development Bank and FAO envisages a collaborative programme of action with a series of outcomes.
The outcomes include better and more effective bank-financed investment operations; increased public-private-partnership investments; a better investment climate and portfolio performance; and, advocacy and joint resources mobilization.
FAO’s technical assistance would cover areas such as sustainable agricultural intensification and diversification, scaling up value chain innovations, youth in agriculture and agribusiness and agricultural statistics.
It would also cover climate smart agriculture, blue growth/blue economy, food security and nutrition, agri-food system, food safety and standards, women’s economic empowerment, promotion of responsible private investments, resilience and risk management and capacity building for transition states.
The collaborative programme would be created through an initial financial contribution of up to $15 million by the two institutions.
Joint advocacy and policy advice activities will include the promotion of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Gove1rnance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests and the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems, both endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security.
Long term collaboration between the African Development Bank and FAO began in 1968. Since then, FAO has provided technical assistance to the formulation of 161 projects financed by the Bank, valued at over $3.7 billion and representing about 21 percent of the Bank’s support to the agricultural sector.
Recent collaboration between the Bank and the FAO include 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.
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution.