As 34 heads of state and 70 ministers return home after three days of ‘food and agriculture delivery compact’ negotiations in Dakar, we reflect on the outcome of the Dakar 2 Summit “Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience”, organised by the African Development Bank.
We endorse wholeheartedly the commitment to free Africa from hunger and the shared resolve for Africa to feed itself with dignity and pride. We celebrate the increased investment and the renewed commitment of governments to allocate 10% of public expenditure to agriculture. We applaud the resolve to escape from the shame of dependency on food imports and handouts.
We share the recognition of the need and benefits of engaging youth in agriculture and the appreciation of the fundamental role of women in food production. We acknowledge the vibrant catalytic role of the African Development Bank in mobilising such widespread African government support and enthusiasm.
However, we reject the continued reliance on colonial thinking – to raise production of staple crops using imported farm inputs, chemical fertilisers, pesticides, and hybrid and GMO seeds. Food sovereignty is freedom from external control. A country dependent on imported fertilizer has lost its sovereignty as much as one that depends on food imports or donations.
We question the focus on monocrop agriculture – wheat and maize – which rejects the vast catalogue of nutritious indigenous crops and local varieties. Resilience comes from diversity – in crops, food sources, soil amendments, and supply chains.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.