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250m Africans go on empty stomach daily, says Akinwumi Adesina

250m Africans go on empty stomach daily, says Akinwumi Adesina
March 31
12:16 2022

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has estimated that about 250 million Africans go on an empty stomach from dusk to dawn.

In an article recently published on the AfDB’s website and titled, ‘It’s time to nourish Africa once and for all’, Adesina said persistent food shortages mean that Africans struggle to put food on the table.

According to him, hunger has become a way of life 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.

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“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.

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“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.”

Highlighting the role of the AfDB in ensuring proper nutrition on the continent, Adesina said over the past six years, almost 76 million people have benefited from agricultural technologies for food security through our Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation programme.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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The AfDB president said Africa is home to 65% of the world’s remaining uncultivated arable land and blessed with abundant natural resources.

According to him, there is no reason why anyone in the continent should suffer from malnutrition.

“As we build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, let us close ranks and finally defeat this scourge,” he added.

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