African Development Bank event calls for leadership, partnership and investment in nutrition to shape the economic growth of the continent
On 23 May 2016, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition and the African Development Bank (AfDB) hosted a high-level event on “Achieving Nutrition Security: A call for leadership, partnership and investment” in Lusaka, Zambia. The event was part of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Annual Meetings that started on Monday 23 May and will end on Friday 27 May.
The event brought together influential leaders, finance ministers, philanthropists, and businesses to discuss ways they can achieve nutrition security through increased investments and public-private partnerships. The speakers included Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB; H.E. Kofi Annan, Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, former Secretary-General of the UN and Nobel Laureate; H. E. John Kufuor, Former President of Ghana; Mr. Aliko Dangote, Chairman and CEO, Dangote Group; Ms. Jamie Cooper, Chair and President, Big Win Philanthropy.
The discussion, moderated by Ms. Uduak Amimo, Royal Media Services, focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and the World Health Assembly Global Nutrition Targets in addition to:
- the economic case for nutrition investment,
- the opportunity for cross-sector partnerships,
- the critical need for political leadership to meet two of the AfDB’s ‘High 5’ priority areas: ‘Feed Africa’ and ‘Better Quality of Life’.
“Nutrition is not just a health and social development issue, nutrition is an investment that shapes economic growth for all African nations” – AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina.
Speakers shared new economic data released by the Global Panel, which shows that increased investments to meet the World Health Assembly target of reducing stunting by 40 per cent by 2025 could add US $83 billion in additional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in just 15 Sub-Saharan African countries.
This event in Lusaka builds on the “Invest in Nutrition” event of the World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C., on April 17, 2016, in which Bill Gates joined President Adesina and global development leaders to launch the first ever Africa-specific investment framework for nutrition. The framework, developed by the World Bank and Results for Development, shows the costs to achieve the WHA stunting, wasting, anemia and breastfeeding targets. Achieving these four global nutrition targets in sub-Saharan Africa would require an increased investment of approximately US $2.7 billion/year for 10 years. Meeting the targets would require increased investment of approximately US $1.8 billion/year from donors and US $750 million/year from African governments over the next decade.
At the same time, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina outlined the recent creation of the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN), a high-level body that brings together leaders from across the continent to increase investment in nutrition and champion the implementation of diverse policies and interventions to address malnutrition in all its forms. As a group of influential leaders, the ALN will seek to redress the critical need for political leadership by calling for action and multi-sector investment in nutrition.
“The African Leaders for Nutrition will be an opportunity for Heads of State and ministers to use their voices to commit, their actions to invest, and their positions to truly lead. Not only is it about health, but it is also about economics. The potential gains are significant and lasting. That’s why we’re calling on leaders across Africa to join us in elevating the issue of nutrition on the continent and to make investment a priority.” – John Kufour, former President of Ghana.
View photos on AfDB’s flickr account
Read the Global Panel’s working paper: “The economics of reducing malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa”
Learn more about the event a the Global Panel website
The African Development Bank’s annual meeting provides a critical opportunity to build on the growing commitment to nutrition, while continuing to rally the global community around a Nutrition for Growth effort focused on strengthening political and financial commitments to nutrition. The inclusion of nutrition on the Annual Meeting’s agenda makes a statement to participants that nutrition is not just a health issue, but it contributes to determining the economic future of the continent, and action is needed to drive progress.
The African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) seeks to elevate the issue of nutrition on the continent and encourage government ministers, philanthropists and businesses to champion and increase investment in nutrition. Created by Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB, and John Kufuor, Former President of Ghana and Global Panel Co-Chair, the ALN is envisioned to be an African-led effort of current and former Heads of state, Finance Ministers and other leaders that aims to catalyze and sustain political will and leadership on nutrition investment and the economic case for nutrition investment.