NAIROBI – LACK of committed leadership and rampant corruption have been blamed for widespread hunger and poverty in the continent.
Dr Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development bemoaned that while rich in minerals, gas and oil, and with abundant sunshine and fertile soil 23 of the 25 poorest countries in the world are in Africa.
About 400 million of Africans live in extreme poverty.
It is the only region in the world where absolute poverty has increased since 1990.
Nwanze pointed out Sub-Saharan Africa has 25 percent of the world’s arable land yet generated only ten percent of its agricultural output.
“Why is this?” he asked rhetorically.
“Lack of leadership, lack of national pride and a blind eye to greed and corruption.”
He was speaking addressing All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development in UK.
Nwanze said Africa spent US$35 million (R475 million) on food imports a year.
“If this money was invested in developing smallholder farming and rural infrastructure, Africa could feed itself.”
Nwanze said Africa was a world leader in poverty and hunger because of corrupt leaders that promised change but failed to deliver.
“Africa’s leaders are failing the continent due to their lack of investment in smallholder agriculture,” he said.
– CAJ News