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Africa: We Can End Global Hunger 0

For the first time in human history, the end of hunger is within our reach. While courageous and passionate individuals have been working to end this scourge for decades, a recent confluence of political will, public-private partnerships and funding has made the fulfilment of this ambition possible.

We have, of course, a way to go. Almost eight hundred million men, women and children will not have enough food to eat today. But the achievement of halving the proportion of malnourished people since 1990 has shown us what can be achieved.

Look, for example, at Africa. Twelve years ago, when I was United Nations secretary-general, I called for a “uniquely African Green Revolution” to transform agriculture and the life chances of hundreds of millions of people on the continent.

Progress since then has been remarkable. For over a decade, African countries have put a much greater emphasis on investment in agriculture and supporting the continent’s farmers. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, launched by African leaders in 2003 and reiterated in the Malabo Declaration of June 2014, provides a clear framework to accelerate investment and coordinate countries’ efforts.

International donors have thrown their weight behind these national efforts. From a surge in donor investment stemming from the 2009 G-8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, to the agreement by the global community to prioritise hunger and malnutrition in last year’s Sustainable Development Goals, the tide is turning.

With the help of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) was created in 2006. It has already has become a pre-eminent leader in transforming Africa’s agriculture and food systems. Thanks to the partnerships it has formed, the research and development it has supported and the initiatives on the ground it has launched, smallholder farmers have obtained access to better seeds, sustainable agricultural techniques and financing, while thousands of agri-businesses have been created and expanded.

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By Kofi Annan, Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation and former Secretary General of United Nations.

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Direttore Responsabile Giuseppe Frangi