Making good on Dakar 2 Commitments

May 23 2023

CGIAR’s System Board Chair, Professor Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, represented CGIAR at the African Development Bank’s ‘Feed Africa – Food Sovereignty and Resilience’ side event to update key stakeholders on CGIAR’s efforts to support zero hunger in Africa by 2030. 

Africa accounts for the smallest share of global greenhouse gas emissions but is among the most vulnerable to interconnected climate risks, especially in agriculture. For most African nations, financing constraints hinder climate action. However,  support from the international private sector, including multilateral development financiers like the African Development Bank (AfDB), is helping to catalyze concerted efforts, including effective action on climate-smart food, land, and water systems transformation. 

At this year’s Annual Meetings of the AfDB in Egypt, CGIAR’s System Board Chair, Professor Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, met with AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina and later addressed key stakeholders at the “Feed Africa – Food Sovereignty and Resilience” side event, held to update Africa, stakeholders on progress on commitments made at the Dakar 2 High-level Summit held by the AfDB, the African Union, and The Government of Senegal earlier in the year.  

The clock ticks 

Professor Sibanda highlighted the global race against time to address food security globally, especially on vulnerable continents like Africa. Recent years have seen a pivot in the global appraisal of the value of resilient food, land, and water systems within climate action, yet funding for agri-research, especially in low-income countries, is declining. We urgently need to close the significant gap between the science funding required to generate meaningful change and what is currently available. Professor  Sibanda also reinforced CGIAR’s strong commitment to building Africa’s resilience to future shocks by bolstering agricultural research and innovation systems at the national, sub-regional, and continental levels.   

CGIAR, as a key global science partner, is effectively and intentionally transforming agri-food systems by equipping farmers with the game-changing, research-backed innovations they need to thrive. For example, through projects like the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) wheat compact funded by AfDB, CGIAR is strengthening the delivery of vital climate-smart research and innovative technologies to farmers at scale. Led in Sudan by ICARDA, the project’s climate-resilient wheat is delivering better yields on close to the entire wheat area of Sudan., Meanwhile, via TAAT in Ethiopia, ICARDA’s climate-smart wheat has resulted in bumper harvests since 2020, bringing the country up to wheat self-sufficiency of 50%. 

Is it all about the money? 

A new report by CGIAR shows that significant gaps in research funding exist, and without adequate investment, development in agri-innovation will be hindered. That is a grave outlook for climate-vulnerable regions such as the CWANA. Climate-smart technologies are a key escape route as climate impacts accelerate, especially within agri-food systems.   

CGIAR aims to double its overall research funding to $2 billion annually to close the research funding gap and deliver tailored, demand-driven agri-solutions required for Africa to successfully combat the challenges directly related to the climate crisis. But this will only be possible if we work alongside key partners such as the AfDB and better engage with private sector actors and the financial system to realize the vision and ambitions of Dakar 2 to mobilize support for Africa’s agricultural transformation. 

CGIAR is rising to the challenge of achieving zero hunger in Africa by 2030. We believe research and innovation are central to global efforts to transform our food, land, and water systems and provide the technologies farmers need today. We strongly commend the African Development Bank for its commitment at Dakar 2 and the current AfDB Annual Meetings in Egypt to bring key stakeholders to the table to make progress. Only through such collaboration can the AfDB, CGIAR, and all our valued partners generate a fit-for-purpose partnership model that informs, and funds, a viable science and research strategy and truly deliver seismic shifts in climate-smart food systems that benefit Africa and beyond. 

Source: ICARDA