Africa bears heaviest burden of global crisis — Speaker Abbas

Africa bears heaviest burden of global crisis — Speaker Abbas

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr. Tajudeen Abbas, has stated that Africa bears the heaviest burden of global crisis.

Abbas said this during the ongoing 18th Commonwealth Speakers’ and Presiding Officers’ Conference (CSCOP) in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

In his speech titled ‘Addressing Challenges of Food Security in Africa by Promoting Investment in Agriculture,’ Abbas highlighted the dire situation, citing the 2022 Global Report on Food Crises, which revealed that “one in five Africans faces daily hunger, and around 140 million out of Africa’s one billion population suffer from acute food insecurity.”

Various factors contribute to this pressing challenge, as noted by the speaker.

“Armed conflicts of different scales, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, a rising population, subsistence farming, outdated agricultural practices, lack of access to credit, poor infrastructure, and insufficient investment in agri-business are among the key culprits,” he said.

The speaker cited the Nigerian case as an example.

He explained how the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the North Eastern part of the country disrupted food security as farmers lost access to their lands after numerous attacks on villages.

The terrorist activities also negatively impacted commercial fishermen in the Lake Chad region.

He noted also that “the recurring conflicts between herders and farmers in Nigeria are attributed to the fallout from climate change.”

He continued, “Extreme weather conditions and drought in the Northern part of the country forced herders to move their livestock to other regions for grazing, leading to the destruction of farmlands and crops.

“This, in turn, triggered retaliatory actions from farmers resulting in livestock losses.”

The speaker emphasised that climate change and global warming pose severe threats to agricultural production, exacerbating food insecurity across the continent.

To address these challenges, Abbas urged parliaments in Africa to play a pivotal role through legislation.

He stated that by removing obstacles hindering investments in agribusiness, they can create a more conducive environment to attract investors to the sector while ensuring the protection of their investments.

“Through collaborative efforts, Africa can move towards a more food-secure future,” he concluded.

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