The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has called for urgent action to end rural poverty in Africa, saying “We must pay particular attention to three factors: extreme rural poverty, high rates of unemployment among the youths and climate and environmental degradation – what I refer to as the ‘disaster triangle’.”
He was speaking on Thursday in Berlin, Germany, at a conference on the future of the rural world, whose theme was ‘One World, No Hunger: Future of the Rural World’, hosted by the German Development Ministry (BMZ).
In his keynote address, Adesina stressed the need to invest heavily in Africa’s rural areas and reverse endemic misery to prosperity.
“We must create jobs for the youth and disrupt terrorists’ recruitments that are taking root in these rural areas …. We must connect economic security, food security and climate security,” he said.
Noting that conflicts and terrorism easily take root where the ‘disaster triangle’ exists, the AfDB President shared the Bank’s efforts in rural economies, including the investment of US$24 billion in agriculture in the next 10 years and in several other domains through its ambitious multi-billion High 5 priorities – Light up and power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
He reiterated the Bank’s strong support for Germany’s Compact with Africa and its focus on food security, energy, jobs, infrastructure, peace and security, which are very much in line with the High 5s.
Key participants at the forum include the Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Muhammad Yunus; Sudanese-British entrepreneur/philanthropist Mo Ibrahim; Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Elumelu; the Head of German Federal Chancellery, Peter Altmaier; and Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt.
One World, No Hunger: Future of the Rural World ended on Friday.
Photo credit: AfDB