Friday, May 11, 2012

Emerging Sense of Optimism in Africa

Lisa Dreier. director of Food Security and Development Initiatives at the World Economic Forum USA, wrote a very interesting piece about the Grow Africa summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa this week.

"African and global leaders will take a step toward ensuring that Africans are in the driver’s seat when it comes to bringing sustainable investment to agriculture," said Ms. Dreier. "At the Grow Africa Investment Forum, jointly hosted by the African Union, NEPAD and the World Economic Forum, nearly 250 investors, government leaders and other stakeholders (including civil society and farmer leaders) will convene to discuss specific investment priorities in seven African countries. Delegations from Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana and Burkina Faso will present their top investment priorities."

Photo from World Economic Forum USA
 Here is more background in Ms. Dreier's piece.

"A quarter of a century ago, Africa was seen as a land of famine. And while much has improved, hunger crises continue to haunt the continent, emerging most recently in the Sahel region and East Africa. As global food prices have spiked repeatedly over the past five years, the resulting rise in hunger, poverty and political instability have reminded us how many African families live close to the edge of food insecurity.

With agriculture providing 70% of employment and 30% of GDP in Africa, on average, Africa’s well-being is closely tied to its agriculture sector – for better or worse.

Now, however, a new sense of optimism is emerging. The rapid growth of African economies and growing global demand for food is bringing new focus and momentum into African agriculture. Helping Africa to grow more food won’t solve the immediate crises but it can reduce the likelihood of future ones."

Read full  post  on the World Economic Forum's Blog  and the Global Food for Thought blog

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