Safeguarding food security key to Africa’s economic recovery

first_img AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Food security, agriculture and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are crucial to the continent’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery, according to the African Development Bank. Solutions and opportunities are also opening up as a result of the pandemic, panellists pointed out. Chief of the renewal of planning (macro-policy division) in the Economic Commission for Africa, Bartholomew Armah: “The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the cost of fossil fuels, making green renewable alternatives competitive. African countries have a wealth of renewable resources that can be tapped to then leverage jobs and create employment for the vast majority of people.” The development bank has been providing 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 impact of the pandemic, by supporting agriculture and creating regional food self-sufficiency. UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development Participants in a panel discussion entitled Africa beyond COVID-19: How to move towards inclusive and sustainable development proposed tapping renewable sources of energy, adopting new technologies and leveraging the AfCTA as ways African countries are working to build back better from the pandemic crises. Some key areas of intervention emerged during the discussion, including the importance of addressing the needs of the informal sector and extending social protection to the most vulnerable in society. Chief executive officer of the Open Government Partnership, Sanjay Pradhan: “We are seeing catastrophic health crises, devastating economic crises, a climate crises 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.” Economic recovery plans post-COVID-19 present unexpected opportunities AfDB director of macroeconomic policy, forecasting and research, Hanan Morsy: “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 AfDB is currently hosting a three day annual conference virtually, along with the Economic Commision for Africa and the United Nations Development Programme under the theme Africa beyond COVID-19: Accelerating towards inclusive sustainable development. BRICS Image: Andre Nery © 123RF.com Read more:Research into gender and energy makes for better decision-making Panelists also acknowledged the pandemic is placing a heavy burden one women, one that might go overlooked because of the sheer array of statistics. Dorothy Jane Anika, a member of the UN Women Beijing 25+ Global Youth Task Force pointed out that people need to see a human face and human feeling in response to COVID-19. Dr Raymond Gilpin, chief economist and head of strategy, analysis and research at UNDP Africa: “This year we published a report that looked at what it would take to provide a temporary basic income in a COVID-19 affect world, and this is most important for Africa, where most people do not have any safety net to address the ravages of COVID-19.” RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR TAGSAFDBAgricultureclimate financeCOVID-19sustainable development Previous articleRenewables industry urges governments to scale-up climate actionNext articleRural energy company surpasses 100 mini-grids deployment Theresa SmithTheresa Smith is a conference producer for Clarion Events Africa. The AfCFTA is also expected to accelerate the continent’s recovery and increase its resilience by boosting the level of intra-African trade of goods and services. Generation Read more:Sustainable cooling and cold chain systems being developed in RwandaSolar for agriculture Empowering farmers in Sudan Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA Finance and Policylast_img read more

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