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G20 – Fight Against Food Insecurity: Macky Wants More Investment in Agriculture

Tackling food insecurity requires massive investment in the agricultural sector. This is essentially what Macky Sall said at the opening of the G20 summit, which is taking place in Indonesia.

The fight against food insecurity was at the heart of President Macky Sall‘s speech at the G20 Summit. At the meeting, which is taking place in Bali, Indonesia, Mr. Sall said that « the paradox of Africa with immense agricultural, forestry and water potential, often facing food shortages, must be resolved ». In this, the Head of State said, « We must modernise our agricultural systems, increase the productivity of this sector through massive investments, promote our producers’ access to agricultural equipment and fertilisers and develop agricultural value chains for access to external markets. » In the same vein, he argued that « our young entrepreneurs, increasingly present in value chains, will need to be supported in the area of food trade facilitation and input delivery ». For Macky Sall, « it is a question of mobilising significant resources that far exceed the budgetary capacities of our States, hence the need to support these efforts with concessional financing ». He said: « I still appeal to the spirit of solidarity that must guide our actions for a reallocation of unused SDRs and a relaxation of their eligibility conditions. »

The AU President encouraged, « all parties to continue the dialogue with the support of the World Bank, FAO and the United Nations System, in order to resolve the problems of food insecurity that constitute threats to peace and security ». At the same time, he welcomed, « the launch by the International Finance Corporation of a financing mechanism in the amount of $ 6 billion to address food shortages and which will be added to the financing of the World Bank, in the amount of $ 30 billion, within the framework of the Global Alliance for Food Security ».

« Renouncing the exploitation of our natural resources (…) is to limit our industrialisation potential.« 

On the issue of energy transition Macky Sall stressed that « Africa remains committed to respecting the Paris Agreements, while recalling the urgency of transforming energy systems in order to ensure clean, sustainable, affordable and inclusive energy transitions ». However, he was keen to draw attention to the fact that « the recent energy crises have shown the vulnerability of African economies to access to energy, at a time when initiatives are developing for the diversification of sources of supply ».

According to Mr. Sall, « giving up the exploitation of our natural resources while electricity is still a luxury, both for the population and for our companies because of its high cost, is to restrict our industrialisation potential, especially agri-food ». He added that « reducing the capacity of our sectors of fertiliser production units capable of satisfying national and also sub-regional demand ». And continued: « It is above all to slow down the hope of social and territorial equity offered by access to electricity for all. » Taking into account all these aspects, the Head of State called on « the international community to take into account the plural priorities of our different nations in the ambition of a global energy transition in line with the Paris Agreements ». « Africa remains open to choosing a low-carbon economy, but this requires a technology transfer and investment in renewables, » he insisted. According to Macky Sall, « Africa remains an essential partner on the international scene ».

A Permanent Seat at the G20

At the opening of the G20 Summit, Macky Sall pleaded for a permanent member seat to be allocated to Africa. And Macky Sall explained its relevance: « I would like to stress that in this renewal of multilateralism to which we committed ourselves in Bali, Africa remains an essential partner on the international scene. It is the 8th economic power by its GDP and owns more than 60% of arable land, with a population estimated at nearly 2.5 billion by 2050. For all these reasons, says Sall, « it can therefore have a fair ambition to be integrated as a permanent member of the G20 Forum and I would like to invite my peers to do so. »

By Dieynaba KANE / dkane@lequotidien.sn

  • Translation by Ndey T. SOSSEH

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