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US-Africa Leaders Summit: Joint Statement on Food Security

By establishing a strategic partnership to guide and accelerate their work, the African Union and the United States reaffirm their shared commitment to achieving African food security.

Shivam Dwivedi
African Union will make a political commitment that participating AU members will address and remove barriers to agricultural investment.
African Union will make a political commitment that participating AU members will address and remove barriers to agricultural investment.

This strategic framework will reference and build on existing bilateral, regional, multilateral, non-governmental, and philanthropic efforts to advance food security, as well as leverage the public and private sectors to address immediate and acute food and fertilizer needs in the short term, including by addressing disrupted food supplies, and promote transformational investments in medium- to long-term sustainable and resilient food systems.

The confluence of the global pandemic, the climate crisis, high energy and fertilizer prices, and protracted conflicts, including Russia's war in Ukraine, has prompted U.S. and African leaders to refocus and scale public and private sector investments to address the root causes of the food crisis, which has disproportionately impacted African nations.

"We recognize the critical importance of accelerating, protecting, and strengthening progress toward African food security to allow African countries to trade more and improve connectivity to critical agricultural markets. We also recognize agriculture's critical importance as a source of millions of jobs and livelihoods across the continent, particularly among youth and women," said a joint statement.

"We also note the continent's enormous untapped potential, with more than 60% of the world's unused arable farmland, and the opportunity that represents Africa's role in addressing global food insecurity. Through this strategic partnership, we intend to use all diplomatic, multilateral, technical, and financial tools to build stronger and more diverse food systems and supply chains, scale Africa's agricultural production capacity, and invest in more resilient agricultural sectors."

"We reaffirm the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), the Malabo Declaration and its Call to Action, and the Global Food Security Summit held on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly for emergency assistance as well as medium- to long-term investments in resilient food systems to address chronic food insecurity, as well as the priority actions outlined in the International Financial Institutions (IFI) Action Plan t We also take note of the Dakar International Conference on Agriculture, which the Government of Senegal and the AfDB will co-host on January 25-27, 2023. We also recognize the significance of stepping up efforts in climate adaptation, soil health and fertility, and widespread adoption of improved agricultural inputs."

U.S.-Africa Food Security Framework

The US-Africa strategic partnership will focus on short-term and long-term priorities to achieve these objectives. The US is committed to using its unique convening power to bring together the private sector and international financial institutions to address underinvestment and identify and remove barriers that prevent Africa from fully participating in global food and fertilizer supply chains and markets. In turn, the African Union will make a political commitment that participating AU members will address and remove barriers to agricultural investment.

Determine how Africa can secure more diverse and resilient grain and fertilizer supply sources in the short term and on a commercial basis to meet its immediate needs. Where there is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance, we will collaborate to provide immediate life-saving assistance, such as cash, food, and nutrition supplies—including, where possible, sourcing from the continent—to prevent famine or malnutrition while also assisting in preparation for future shocks and piloting resilient investments.

In the medium and long term, the United States and Africa will take the lead in addressing chronic underinvestment and policy shortcomings in agriculture and food systems, working with other willing partners to Investigate ways to improve Africa's access to global agricultural commodity markets. Emphasize the importance of African governments implementing the policy reforms required to achieve food security, particularly by improving land access and business environment, promoting open trade, and strengthening good governance.

Identify and promote transformative medium- to long-term investments from governments, the private sector – including the private sector in the United States – and multilateral development banks to strengthen the climate resilience of agriculture and food systems, improve productivity, and increase sustainability. Increase reliable and sustainable access to fertilizers and their inputs, focusing on climate-smart alternatives, soil management, and fertilizer efficiency techniques to avoid shortages, reduce reliance on single-source fertilizer producers, boost fertilizer competition, and boost crop yields in vulnerable African food markets. Concentrate on diversifying agricultural commodity production, including core commodities and traditional crops.

This includes improving physical and digital infrastructure, as well as logistical supply chains, to produce fertilizers, grow food, and cultivate stores, and transport food efficiently. Furthermore, this effort will seek to improve food transportation within regional food markets to boost inter-regional trade and reduce African food systems' reliance on a single supplier. Increase access to innovative financial tools and promote effective agricultural production practices, approaches, research, and development across the entire agricultural ecosystem.

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