Ghana marks AU Day Increase investment to boost food security …Foreign Minister urges African leaders

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Botchwey, has called on African Union (AU) member states to increase investment in food systems and fertiliser production to boost food security on the continent.

She said promoting a strong linkage between nutrition and agriculture would help achieve the AU Nutrition Year for 2022, which aims to drive greater political will and investment in nutrition to address food security challenges.

She was speaking at a flag raising ceremony held in Accra yesterday to commemorate the 59th AU Day celebration. Marked with a parade of Ghana Armed Forces personnel, it brought together diplomats, school children.

It was on the theme: “Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthening Agro-Food Systems, Health and Social Protection Systems for the Acceleration of Human, Social and Economic Capital Development.”

The AU, originally the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was formed 59 years ago, to ensure the complete political emancipation of the African people through the promotion of unity and solidarity.

In 2002, the OAU was transformed into AU with the vision to foster solidarity and harness the resources and resourcefulness of Africans for sustained economic emancipation.

According to Ms Botchwey, the current food security challenges  on the continent following the impacts of climate, COVID-19 and conflict in Europe shows how important it is for African States to work together to implement various food security frameworks.

These, she said, included the African Common Position for Sustainable Food Systems as well as the Africa Emergency Food Production Plan and the West African Food Security Storage Strategy.

In Ghana, the Foreign Minister said, the food security issues were being addressed through Planting for Food and Jobs, a flagship agricultural programme.

“We also need to put in place measures to address primary health care issues, while expanding access to quality health care to improve health outcomes for all Africans and promote the quality of life of each African,” she said.

Ms Botchwey said the COVID-19 pandemic had brought to light the inherent weaknesses in the health system and the need for improvement in technology and upscaling of investment in human capital to address future challenges.

“That spirit of African independence and progress has to drive our efforts to eliminate all forms of inhumane conditions such as malnutrition, poor housing and health, as well as improve access to energy for domestic and industrial use across the Continent,” she said.

The Burkinabe Ambassador to Ghana and Dean of the African Group, PingrenomaZagre,  said although AU had made considerable progress, some challenges existed such as terrorism, climate change, young employment, impact of COVID-19  and crisis in Europe.

He urged member states to work together to address these challenges and to work towards the successful implementation of Agenda 2063 and in delivering -The Africa we want.”


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