Let us make 2013 a watershed moment for food and nutrition security. Let us also acknowledge that complex, global issues require bold programmes and commitments at all levels. The MDGs continue to be as relevant today as they were when the world set out to achieve them, 13 years ago. As the global community rallies together to shape the post-2015 agenda let us also not lose sight of the progress we have made against hunger and poverty to date.
But times have changed and Europe and Africa will need to work closely together to ensure our collaboration reflects new circumstances. Europe’s continued support in the fight against hunger and malnutrition is critical. And Africa’s increasing economic growth and strong political commitment to poverty reduction offers opportunity for all of us. Africa’s leaders are working on viable and innovative local solutions that can be replicated and scaled up.
I was delighted to speak this week at the Forum for the Future of Agriculture on innovative ways to increase food production and accelerate wealth creation for millions of farmers in Africa. With the Agricultural Transformation Agenda my country, Nigeria, has embarked on an ambitious program to transform its agricultural sector and expand food production for local and regional markets.
For this we need partners. Partners like Europe who believe in joint actions between governments, civil society, and the private sector to drive impactful outcomes. An example of this is the EU-led Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative (AGIR), aiming to be a major long term strategy for building resilience in the fragile Sahel region. The Irish Presidency of the EU has put sustainable, long-term global food security on the agenda, an important acknowledgement of the issue’s prominence. As we prepare for the forthcoming G8 Summit we hope to advance discussions and develop new investment models that will help propel Africa’s agriculture and unlock wealth and opportunities for millions of farmers.