Friday, June 14, 2024

President Hakainde Hichilema Urges Private Sector Collaboration for Agricultural Development in Africa

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President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia has urged African governments to collaborate with the private sector to harness the potential of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Speaking at the Africa Agricultural Policy Leadership Dialogue in Lusaka, President Hichilema emphasized the importance of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in formulating policies that will drive agricultural growth within the free trade area.

President Hichilema highlighted the need to mobilize resources through collaboration between governments and the private sector. He expressed the belief that such partnerships would be instrumental in realizing the benefits of the AfCFTA and operationalizing the continent’s vision for free trade.

Furthermore, the Zambian president acknowledged the urgency of transitioning to greener agricultural practices in order to address environmental challenges. He stressed the significance of sustainability in the agricultural sector and mentioned the government’s commitment to developing a Comprehensive Agricultural Transformation Support Programme (CASP) that focuses on private sector investment. This program aims to enhance food security, promote agricultural exports, generate employment opportunities, and contribute to Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

President Hichilema expressed confidence that CASP would effectively address the emerging and persistent challenges faced by the sector, including climate change, poor soil fertility, and natural resource degradation. He assured stakeholders that the government’s ongoing reforms would facilitate climate financing and attract investment to improve critical agricultural infrastructure, thereby fostering domestic and international trade in agricultural commodities.

In line with President Hichilema’s call for increased investment in African food systems, the World Bank has announced a $2.3 billion funding initiative to strengthen resilience in food systems across Eastern and Southern African countries. African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment, Josefa Sacko, confirmed this development, stating that the investment would support these regions in combating climate change and achieving food self-sufficiency.

Ms. Sacko expressed optimism that the World Bank’s investment would contribute significantly to enhancing agricultural productivity and ensuring sustainable food production in Eastern and Southern Africa. Additionally, Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, urged African countries to focus on value addition in agricultural products to boost competitiveness in international markets.

The Africa Agricultural Policy Leadership Dialogue (AALPD) is a two-day event that aims to promote dialogue on the agri-food policy agenda in Africa. The conference has brought together senior leaders from government, the development community, and the private sector to discuss strategies for increasing investment and technical assistance support in the agricultural sector across the continent.

With President Hichilema’s call for public-private collaboration in continental agriculture, coupled with the World Bank’s substantial investment in food systems resilience, Africa is poised to make significant strides toward achieving food security, economic growth, and sustainable agricultural practices in the years to come.

3 COMMENTS

  1. That’s all this useless boy hh does. Calls for things but zero action. He is a failure and a risk to zambia becoming a failed state. Mr graphs hahahaha

  2. Fuel price was K17 in 2021 and is now K24 in 2023.

    Has there been a reduction or increment ? Can a monkey from upnd answer my question

  3. Is our president alright? He did not go to the copper belt mining and agricultural show and was represented by Agric minister now this represented by Finance minister.

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