March 30, 2023

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Saqib Alge says the private sector is aware of the role it has to play in Africa’s food security

The private sector is “well aware of the key role” it plays to ensure food security in Africa, Saqib Alge, president of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), said on Friday in Diamniadio, 30 km from Dakar.

“As the private sector, we are well aware of the important role we play in ensuring food security in Africa through processing and value addition,” said Mr. Saqib Alj said. Policies for African Agricultural Transformation”, organized on the last day of the Dakar 2 Summit on Food Sovereignty held from January 25 to 27 under the theme “Feeding Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience”.

In this context, he underlined the importance of “improving our agricultural productivity, especially integration, encouraging farmers, encouraging innovation in agriculture, training etc.”

During this roundtable, speakers including Ali Saleh Diop, Minister of Livestock and Livestock Production of Senegal, and Abu Babak Karim, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security of Sierra Leone, were invited to answer the following questions: How can policymakers better support African agriculture in the face of climate change?, in Agriculture How can policy and institutional environments be made more conducive to attracting potential partnerships?, and what is the role of government in formalizing jobs and land reforms to make the sector more inclusive?.

The President of CGEM noted, “Governments can provide a business-friendly environment by facilitating access to markets, finance, land, energy, training and innovation, but also by improving business (digitalisation, tax structure etc. .).

Mr. Alj underlined, on the other hand, that the impact of climate change on agriculture is “a reality today.

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According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), warming of about 2°C would lead to a 10% decline in total agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa by 2050, he estimates, “if warming exceeds 3°C.” For example, all areas currently producing maize, millet and sorghum will become unsuitable for these types of crops”.

“These figures challenge us further as 240 million Africans are already suffering from malnutrition, while Africa has enormous potential in terms of agriculture, especially with 65% of arable land”, observed the President of CGEM.

Asked about the steps initiated by Morocco in this area, Mr. The Alj mentioned three actions that “made a difference”, namely the implementation of rational water management plans, “Thanks to the Kingdom’s vision, the Kingdom currently has 149 dams. This allows it to manage its water resources rationally, especially during periods of drought like the ones we have experienced in recent years.

Efficient Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) have also been set up for water desalination and wastewater treatment projects, focusing on innovation and new technologies, Mr. Alj also mentioned to the panel members.

The speaker also cited the Green Morocco project launched in 2008 with the aim of making the agricultural sector a real lever for Morocco’s socio-economic development. 10 years after the implementation of this Green Morocco project, it was able to attract an investment of 104 billion DHS, including 40% public investment and 60% private investment in the agricultural sector, he explained to Aid. A 117% increase from DHS 15 billion to DHS 33 billion.

At the community level, the Green Morocco project has helped create 342,000 additional jobs, and agricultural GDP has increased from 7 to 12 billion dirhams, regardless of rain, said one of the members of the Moroccan delegation, Mr. Alge underlined. As part of the three-day summit, Senegalese President Macky Sall opened the summit on Wednesday.

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The Moroccan delegation, led by Prime Minister Aziz Aganouch, includes the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forestry, Mohamed Sadiqi, Minister of Equipment and Eve, Nisar Barakah, President and CEO. OCP Group, Mustafa Terrab, Managing Director of “Itmar Capital” Fund, Obaid Amrane and HM King’s Ambassador to Senegal, Hassan Nasiri.

The work of the Dakar 2 summit concluded on Friday with the adoption of the “Dakar Declaration”.

The “Dakar 2” Declaration, read at the end of the forum by the Senegalese Minister of Agriculture, Rural Equipment and Food Sovereignty, recommended the establishment of Presidential Councils to oversee the implementation of national agreements on food and agriculture. According to the decisions of the forum.

The partners of the Declaration decided to “follow up with various development partners to finalize support to the African Union Commission and the African Development Bank”.

They recommended that the Dakar2 summit declaration be submitted to the African Union summit scheduled for February 2023 for consideration.

The African Development Bank ADB, the organizer of this summit together with the government of Senegal, announced a financing of 30 billion dollars to implement national strategies to ensure food sovereignty and promise “as quickly as possible”. “Get additional funding from other partners and report on overall funding from development partners.

The summit brought together heads of state, governments, the private sector, multilateral organizations, NGOs and scientists to address the growing challenge of food security in Africa. The summit brought together ministers responsible for agriculture, private sector actors, banks, commercial and financial institutions to discuss the development of financial mechanisms to implement agreements for food and agriculture.

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