Accra, 27 April 2022 (TDI): The Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene had a meeting with the World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director of Ghana, Barbara Clemens, yesterday, on April 25.

Mene and Clemens highlighted the significance of cooperation between AfCFTA and WFP.  The meeting discussed how the concerns of WFP, including agriculture, food security, and nutrition could benefit the AfCFTA agreement.

Link between Food Security and AfCFTA

AfCFTA is embedded in the agenda 2063. It is one of the flagship projects of the African Union. The AfCFTA aims at accelerating intra-African trade.

Besides, AfCFTA also works on boosting Africa’s trading position in the global market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations.

As a game-changer in global crises, AfCFTA has to cope with various global challenges during its development. There is no doubt that food security is a typical one for the African continent.

According to Mene’s speech at the 8th Annual Africa Summit in London, geopolitics is one of the two biggest global crises that Africa faces. And Russian-Ukraine conflict has already pushed Africa into more serious food insecurity.

In addition, the President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina also emphasized recently that Africa should prepare for a global food crisis.

The Secretary-General of AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene delivered a keynote speech at the 8th Annual Africa Summit.

In terms of food security, AfCFTA will help African countries focus on agricultural products where they have a comparative advantage.

A continent-wide market will encourage more investors to venture into the food and agriculture sector, creating more jobs while addressing food insecurity.

AfCFTA will not only remove barriers to shifting agricultural products across areas but will also reduce food prices. Such advantages will disproportionately help the poorest Africans.

However, without progress on food security in Africa, the development of AfCFTA will be greatly hampered.

World Food Programme: An Overview

World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization. WFP works on saving lives in emergencies. Moreover, WFP mainly uses food aid to create access to peace, stability, and prosperity for people.

Additionally, people who are recovering from conflict, disasters, and the effects of climate change are the primary focus of WFP.

WFP has been working in Africa for decades. As early as 2008, WFP assisted more people and spent more money in Africa than in any other continent.

In 2008 alone, WFP has used at least US$2.21 billion out of the total direct expenditure of US$3.54 billion for the African continent.

A picture of a WFP project. Photo by WFP/Giulio d’Adamo.

Furthermore, after the outbreak of COVID-19, WFP has contributed a lot to African countries. For instance, in 2020 October, WFP announced cooperation with the Kenyan government.

The partnership aimed to provide aid to over 24,000 families affected by the pandemic in Mombasa and Nairobi in Kenya. Also, in March this year, WFP provided food and nutrition assistance to 463,550 people in the Central African Republic.

Through General Food Assistance (GFA), school feeding, nutrition, and resilience-building activities, WFP offered aid to local people. Besides, WFP never stops working with its international partners.

For example, earlier this year, the Country Director of WFP in the Gambia, Yasuhiro Tsumura met with Rose Sarr, the representative of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) in the Gambia to discuss further cooperation.

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