Africa: Food Security, Afcta Crucial for Africa’s Post-Covid-19 Recovery … African Economic Confab

Agriculture is important not only for food security issues but also for inter-regional food integration African Development Bank Director of Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research, Hanan Morsy, has said.

Speaking during a news conference on the opening day of the African Economic Conference 2020 she said “We see this as an area that needs particular support, an area of opportunity going forward to increase inter-regional integration and to increase resilience against external shocks.”

The African Development Bank has provided much-needed financial and technical assistance to the sector, including small scale agribusinesses. In June 2020, the Bank launched the Feed Africa Response to COVID-19 (FAREC), a strategic roadmap to safeguard food security against the pandemic’s impact by supporting agriculture and creating regional food self-sufficiency.

The three-day annual conference, which opened Tuesday was hosted virtually. It is being organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the theme, “Africa beyond COVID-19: Accelerating towards inclusive sustainable development.”

Earlier, during a high-level panel session titled Africa beyond COVID-19: How to move towards inclusive and sustainable development, participants proposed tapping renewable sources of energy, adopting new technologies and leveraging the African Free Trade Agreement as some of the ways African countries are working to build back better from the COVID-19 crisis.

The panel featured: Director Morsy, Bartholomew Armah Chief, Renewal of Planning Section Macroeconomic Policy Division; Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Administrator and Director Regional for Africa, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Sanjay Pradhan, Chief Executive Officer, Open Government Partnership; Dorothy Jane Anika, Convener, Young Women in Political Party Leadership (Kenya) and, Member, UN Women Beijing 25+ Global Youth Task Force; and Dr Raymond Gilpin, Chief Economist and Head of Strategy, Analysis and Research at UNDP Africa.

Members of the panel acknowledged that the pandemic had sharpened Africa’s challenges.

“We are seeing a catastrophic health crisis, a devastating economic crisis, a climate crisis that is ravaging communities, a crisis of inequality laid bare by the pandemic and a crisis of democracy reflecting citizens eroding trust in their governments. No single stakeholder group can tackle these crises on its own,” Pradhan said.