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Africa’s food sovereignty tops agenda at Russia-Africa summit

Africa’s food sovereignty tops agenda at Russia-Africa summit

Africa’s food sovereignty and security will take focal points at the Russia-Africa Summit 2023, according to Oleg Ozerov, ambassador at large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Ozerov on Tuesday said discussions will be around strategies to realise potentials and how Russia can help the continent develop its agricultural infrastructure. According to him, the federation would discuss ways to establish its production in Africa.

“Though the issue was related to food security, it would be discussed within the framework of both the political summit and the Economic and Humanitarian forum.

“Russia is a supplier of products that ensure food security: grains, fertilisers, and their components. This issue is becoming more and more acute.

“But, during the summit, we will also discuss establishing our production on the continent, and African countries would like to receive agricultural technology and equipment from Russia,” he said.

Ozerov said Africa was one of the most vulnerable regions in the world in terms of food security, despite agriculture employing more than 60 percent of its labour force and contributing about a third of the continent’s GDP.

According to a new study backed by the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), over 50 million people in Eastern Africa will face acute food insecurity this year.

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Another report by WFP and FAO estimated that 281.6 million people on the continent, over one-fifth of the population, faced hunger in 2020, which is 46.3 million more than in 2019. Three years later, the situation continues to deteriorate.

“Experts estimate that 60 percent of Africa’s fertile land is underutilised. The only way to solve this problem is to achieve food sovereignty. This is a realistic possibility due to the continent’s immense agricultural potential,” he said.

The Integrated Security and Sovereign Development block of the business programme of the Second Russia–Africa Summit and Economic and Humanitarian Forum will hold the panel session on food sovereignty.

The session which will start on July 27 at 9.00 a.m. has its title as “Russia and Africa: Partnership for Food Sovereignty.”

Second Russia–Africa Summit and Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum, which will be held from July 27 to 28, is being organised by the Roscongress Foundation.