African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretary-General Wamkele Mene says Africa must tap into its resources to avert a looming food crisis.
Speaking on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Group’s annual meeting in the Ghanaian capital Accra, Mene says the Ukraine-Russia conflict has exposed Africa’s weakness in food security.
He says the continental structure is committed to integrating Africa.
So far 43 out of 54 countries have ratified the agreement meant to boost intra-Africa trade.
Mene says this process must be accelerated.
Meanwhile, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan says women and youth-owned entities must not be left out as the continent seeks to recover economically.
Last week, the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) said it is concerned about the increase in food insecurity in Africa, especially in countries where conflict persists.
The AU said prolonged fighting is affecting food production and many countries are failing to effectively feed their citizens. The situation has also been worsened by the effects of climate change.
The African body said starvation levels on the continent are on the rise.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisations said there are over 280 million food-insecure people in Africa.
The AUPSC is concerned that conflicts in parts of Africa are becoming a major root factor of starvation in the continent.
A report by the Food and Agriculture organisation, the World Food Programme identifies Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Sudan at high alert levels of food insecurity. Part of the reason for insufficient food supply in these countries is conflict.
AfDB aims to find solutions to Africa’s food insecurity amid the Ukraine conflict: