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African Countries import $50bn worth of food annually – AfDB


President of the AfDB, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina

The African Development Bank (AfDB), says African
countries import nearly 50 billion dollars net of food annually.

A statement by AfDB’s Communication and External
Relations Department said the bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human, and
Social Development, Jennifer Blanke said this at a panel discussion at the 7th
Tokyo International Conference in Japan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the
conference which began on Aug. 28 in Tokyo, ended on Aug. 30.
The theme of the conference was: “Advancing Africa’s
Development through People, Technology, and Innovation.’’
Blanke explained that it was unfortunate that in spite
that the continent was holding 60 per cent of the world’s arable land, it still
imported food.
She said investing in Africa’s food markets,
governments could win the fight against stunting and improve nutrition across
the continent.
Blanke said that with support from institutions like
the AfDB, the results would be a win-win situation for all.
“There is a business case for governments to invest in
grey matter, or brainpower, and this requires much more nutritious diets.

“With most people in Africa getting their food from
local markets, business opportunities for healthy foods abound everywhere in
the food system and potential investors are urged to engage and explore,” he
Blanke, however, added that women in agriculture were
an overlooked stakeholder group, saying that in most parts of Africa, most
farmers were women.

She disclosed that the bank’s Affirmative Finance
Action for Women in Africa initiative known as AFAWA, sought to support women
entrepreneurs in Africa.
According to her, through AFAWA the AfDB aimed to raise
at least 300 million dollars for a guarantee facility will spur lending to
African women entrepreneurs. (NAN)

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