Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says about 250 million Africans go on an empty stomach from dusk to dawn.
He stated this in an article recently published on the AfDB’s website and titled, ‘It’s time to nourish Africa once and for all.’
According to him, the persistent food shortages in the continent mean that Africans struggle to put food on the table. Adesina described hunger as a way of life for many people in Africa.
He said food systems across the continent were failing to deliver diets that are healthy, affordable, secure, and safe for vast swathes of its population.
“Almost 250 million men, women, and children across the continent go on an empty stomach from dawn to dusk,” the article reads.
“According to a 2019 study by the African Union, 56 million children under the age of 5 years are chronically undernourished, and 13 million are at risk of starvation.
“For too long, African countries have failed to make the investments necessary to provide sustainable, healthy diets for their citizens. We cannot go on in this way.
“Better nutrition in African countries is the foundation to advance health and well-being, educational attainment, prosperity and equity. It is time to deliver food security at scale and nourish Africa once and for all.
“Furthermore, Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs), which are promoted by the African Development Bank in partnership with other institutions, provide world-class infrastructure to develop competitive value chains and transform rural areas into zones of prosperity.
“Seven SAPZs have been rolled out in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Senegal, and Togo. SAPZs are planned for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. However, much more needs to be done,” he said.
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