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Boosting nutrition boosts the economy says African Development Bank President at a High-Level Roundtable in Ghana

  |   SUN Country Network, SUN Donor Network
Photo source: African Development Bank Group

Photo source: African Development Bank Group

On 18 November 2015, African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Akinwumi Adesina, joined a “High-Level Roundtable on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition” to share the AfDB’s perspective on agriculture and nutrition. In delivering the keynote address, he shared the ways in which malnutrition can be eliminated by changing the agriculture and food systems and said that “Boosting nutrition boosts the economy”. The event was organised by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition to engage with the Government of Ghana and a wide range of representatives from multiple stakeholder groups to understand how agriculture and food systems can work together to improve nutrition.

“Poorly fed people lead to poorly performing economies. UNICEF has estimated the annual cost of undernutrition in sub-Saharan Africa at $25 billion. Africa and Asia lose 11% of their GNP every year due to poor nutrition. The evidence is clear: boosting nutrition boosts the economy,” – African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Akinwumi Adesina

He also sees a key role for the private sector which should be supported to use African food resources to address the continent’s nutritional needs. Equally, the AfDB President emphasised the crucial role that women play in the sector. He said that we must ensure that women farmers benefit significantly from renewed efforts to boost agriculture. They account for a significant share of the farming population but continue to face challenges in terms of access to land rights, labour saving technologies and finance.

“Countries must foster accountability on malnutrition as the world drives the sustainable Development Goals. Let us end the scourge of malnutrition. It is well within our reach to do so, and the evidence is overwhelming that we must act – and act now,” – African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Akinwumi Adesina

The meeting was attended by John Kufuor, former President of Ghana and Co-Chair of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.

About The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition

The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition was formed after the Nutrition for Growth event in London on 8th June 2013. The Global Panel is chaired by John Kufuor, former President of Ghana and John Beddington, former UK Chief Scientist. It is an independent group comprising of 12 influential experts with a commitment to tackling global challenges in food and nutrition security. In addition to AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, Tom Arnold, Coordinator of the SUN Movement ad interim is a member of the Global Panel. The Global Panel aims to inform and influence policy makers in agriculture and food systems in low and middle income countries to improve diets and nutrition outcomes for all.

Learn more: African Development Bank Group website

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