AFRICA – African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) took center stage at two vital forums, the 14th Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS) and the 19th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Partnership Platform (PP).

The events, held in Lusaka, Zambia, from October 30th to November 2nd, 2023, served as platforms for high-level political engagement, emphasizing the critical link between agriculture, nutrition, and trade in Africa.

Under the theme “Accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement in the context of CAADP Commitments for Safer and Healthier Diets,” the discussions echoed the African Union’s 2023 Year Theme, focusing on the urgent need to address hunger and malnutrition across the continent.

Zambian Vice-President Mutale Nalumango, delivering a keynote address, underscored the importance of good nutrition as the foundation for human capital investment, urging swift action to combat hunger and malnutrition.

AU’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Josepha SACKO, highlighted the alarming statistic that 280 million people, or one in five Africans, suffer from hunger, emphasizing the necessity for innovative solutions to ensure access to nutritious and safe food for all.

Ambassador Minata Samate Cessouma, African Union Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development, hailed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement as a game-changer, promoting economic growth, intra-African trade, and improved food security and nutrition.

Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, African Union Special Envoy on Food Systems, emphasized the need for a short-term focus on regional integration to achieve long-term goals, advocating for farmers to be at the core of an agricultural revolution.

ALN actively contributed to the discourse by co-hosting a sub-theme on financing agri-food and nutrition, exploring the pivotal role of the private sector in advancing nutrition initiatives. George Ouma, ALN Coordinator, stressed the necessity for a paradigm shift, urging the private sector to drive change through innovations, investments, and strategic partnerships.

With over 300 participants, including representatives from African Union member states, regional economic communities, United Nations agencies, development partners, and civil society, the forums showcased a united front in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

The shared commitment to fostering nutrition, trade, and sustainable agricultural practices marks a significant step forward in Africa’s journey towards a healthier, more prosperous future.

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