AfDB Chief, Adesina warns Africa to Prepare for Inevitable Global Food Crisis

Akinwumi Adesina

The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has called on African economies to prepare for an inevitable global food crisis.

Adesina made the call while speaking on Africa’s priorities at an event held by the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center at the weekend, stressing the need for a greater sense of urgency amid what he described as a unique convergence in a century of global challenges for Africa.

Speaking on the continent’s economic performance, he said vulnerable countries in Africa have been the most affected by conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, which have disrupted the overall economic and developmental progress.

Also, Adesina noted that the tripling fertiliser cost, rising energy prices as well as food inflation could worsen in Africa in the coming months.

He pointed out that 90 per cent of Russia’s $4 billion exports to Africa in 2020 was wheat; and 48 per cent of Ukraine’s exports to the continent was wheat, while 31 per cent was corn, adding that to fend off a food crisis, Africa must rapidly expand its food production.

He said, “The African Development Bank is already active in mitigating the effects of a food crisis through the African Emergency and Food Crisis Response Fund, a dedicated facility that the Bank is considering to provide African countries with the resources needed to increase local food production and purchase fertiliser.

“My basic principle is that Africa should not beg. We must solve our challenges without depending on others.”