AfDB President Welcomes G8 Initiative on African Agriculture

African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka capped a visit to Washington with a landmark meeting at the Group of Eight (G8) Summit on Saturday.

The special session focused on agriculture policy in Africa, and in particular, a fresh initiative called the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

The meeting was hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama at Camp David near Washington, where this year’s G8 Summit of the world’s largest economies took place.

Participants included the G8 leaders, four African heads of state and executives from the private sector.

“With so much for the G8 leaders to discuss,” said AfDB President Kaberuka, “I commend President Obama for putting agriculture investment in Africa on the agenda.”

One of the main objectives of the new initiative is to encourage the private sector to invest more in the continent’s agriculture sector.

Indeed President Obama has announced that more than $3 billion has already been pledged in private sector investments. African and G8 governments will also commit funds to spur growth.

“This is a win-win proposition,” said Kaberuka. “A prosperous, growing Africa is good for the global economy.”

He went on to say: “This is a collective endeavour involving governments, the private sector and public investment to spur economic growth on the continent. The African Development Bank is ready to play its part by ensuring conditions such as reliable infrastructure are in place.”

In a statement released on the eve of the Camp David meeting, the White House said that it would work with the people and leaders of Africa to “Increase responsible domestic and foreign private investments in African agriculture, take innovations that can enhance agricultural productivity to scale, and reduce the risk borne by vulnerable economies and communities.”

The White House statement went on to welcome the support of the African Development Bank and other development agencies.

In the last few days there has been an intense focus on ways to encourage greater innovation and private sector investment in the agriculture sector across Africa.

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