Despite the fact African countries made development and progress toward eradicating malnutrition and stunting, still there is severe requirement to do more to meet United Nations malnutrition targets by 2025.
The leaders like President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, President of the Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio attended the meeting of the African Leaders for Nutrition, including the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina.
According to Andry Rajoelina, the hunger in Africa can be conquered. “I call on all our partners to continue to work with us to address hunger and malnutrition,” he said.
“I have proposed for the African Union to focus on tackling malnutrition as a theme for 2021,” Alassane Ouattara said adding that the leaders must take it a step further.
During the meeting, it has been revealed that since 2000, stunting has dwindled by 8 percentage points across Africa, an advance on one of the UN’s 2025 targets. African countries have shown severe progress towards achieving the target of 50 percent of the world’s children being exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. The other targets are: halting the epidemic of obesity; reducing anaemia in women of reproductive age; reducing low birth weight and reducing wasting.
The African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) is the outcome of the partnership of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union (AU). The ALN brings together heads of state, finance ministers and other leaders to raise awareness and accountability, and also reinforce investment by the African governments to end malnutrition among children. The meeting, which took place in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa on February 8, offered an opportunity to take stock of achievements ahead of the Nutrition for Growth Summit to be held in Tokyo in December.
The AfDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina stressed the paradox of African malnutrition. “We have 65 percent of the world’s remaining uncultivated arable land. We have an abundance of freshwater and about 300 days of sunshine a year. There’s no reason for anyone to go hungry,” Adesina said. The leaders urged the African governments to strengthen nutrition outcomes, position nutrition within food systems and spend more to fight malnutrition.