Adesina: 250 Million Africans Live on Empty Stomach Daily

•Says hunger has become a way of life in the continent

Peter Uzoho

The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has estimated that about 250 million men, women and children across the continent go on empty stomach from dusk to dawn.

Adesina stated this in an article he wrote that was posted on the AfDB’s website on Tuesday, noting that hunger has become a way of life in many African countries.

He said food systems in the continent were failing to deliver diets that are healthy, affordable, secure and safe for vast majority of Africa’s population.

“Africa’s food systems are failing to deliver diets that are healthy, affordable, secure, and safe for vast swathes of its population. For many in Africa, persistent food shortages mean that they struggle to put food on the table — hunger has become a way of life.

“Almost 250 million men, women, and children across the continent go on an empty stomach from dawn to dusk,” Adesina said.

He emphasised the need to invest in sustainable and healthy diets to ensure the advancement of the health and well-being of Africans.

He maintained that African countries had for too long failed to make investments necessary to provide sustainable and healthy diets for their citizens.

Noting that the continent cannot go on in this way, the AfDB boss said better nutrition in African countries was the foundation to advance health and well-being, educational attainment, prosperity, and equity.

Pointing out that it was time to deliver food security at scale and to nourish Africa once and for all, Adesina also stressed the role of AfDB in ensuring food security and proper nutrition in Africa.

He added, “We will not succeed unless we all play our part. Since the start of my first term as President of the African Development Bank Group in 2015, Feed Africa has been one of the bank’s ‘High five strategic priorities’

“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, 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.”

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