A worrisome and rather embarrassing report based on verifiable statistics from the African Development Bank (AfDB) has it that not less than 250 million Africans spend live on empty stomachs from morning till bedtime at night.
In an article published on AfDB's website recently, Akinnwunmi Adesina, the president of the AfDB, noted that prevailing food shortages amount to serious struggle for Africans to feed on a daily basis, such that hunger is now a way of life for most persons on the continent.
Adesina explained that food systems in Africa generally are failing to deliver nutritious, safe and affordable foods affordable for milions.
In the article seen by The Cable, he wrote:
“Almost 250 million men, women and children across the continent go on an empty stomach from dawn to dusk.
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“According to a 2019 study by the African Union, 56 million children under the age of 5 years are chronically undernourished, and 13 million are at risk of starvation.
“For too long, African countries have failed to make the investments necessary to provide sustainable, healthy diets for their citizens. We cannot go on in this way.
“Better nutrition in African countries is the foundation to advance health and well-being, educational attainment, prosperity and equity. It is time to deliver food security at scale and nourish Africa once and for all.”
Speaking further, Adesina disclosed that the in the last six years, close to 76 million people have been beneficiaries from the bank'sagricultural technologies for food security through its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation initiative.
Moreover, he said Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs), are given campaign by the AfDB which collaborates in with other institutions to provide world-class infrastructure that will develop competitive value chains and transform rural areas into zones of prosperity,.
“Seven SAPZs have been rolled out in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Senegal and Togo.
"SAPZs are planned for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. However, much more needs to be done.”
It will lead to mass hunger: NLC kicks against planned excise duty on soft drinks in Nigeria
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had said if the planned excise duty was imposed on soft drinks in Nigeria, it would lead to mass hunger as most Nigerians depend on the soft drink to quench immediate hunger due to their affordability.
The labour union asked the federal government to immediately halt the plans to impose tax on locally made non-alcoholic and carbonated drinks.
Billions will be lost in revenue
Labour warned that companies making these drinks would lose revenue which will, in turn, lead to mass unemployment as the companies would lay off staff due to poor revenues.