News / Africa

G8 Summit to Focus on Africa Food Security

Kadija Mohamed cooks food for her children in a camp set up for internally displaced people in Dinsoor, in southern Somalia, January 5, 2012.Kadija Mohamed cooks food for her children in a camp set up for internally displaced people in Dinsoor, in southern Somalia, January 5, 2012.
x
Kadija Mohamed cooks food for her children in a camp set up for internally displaced people in Dinsoor, in southern Somalia, January 5, 2012.
Kadija Mohamed cooks food for her children in a camp set up for internally displaced people in Dinsoor, in southern Somalia, January 5, 2012.

STATE DEPARTMENT - As host of this week's summit of the world's Group of Eight leading industrial nations (G8), President Barack Obama has put African food security on the agenda.


Food security remains a recurring problem across Africa, despite hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid each year. The Horn of Africa endured a severe drought last year that turned to famine in Somalia, and several countries in West Africa are now going through a food shortage that aid agencies have warned needs immediate international attention.


With that in mind, the president has invited Benin's President Boni Yayi, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Ghana's President John Atta Mills and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwere to the U.S. There, they will join with business leaders and civil society groups to discuss agricultural development and food security in Africa as part of this G8 summit.


"It is one of the things that this president and this administration regard as a major, major project to work with Africa on," said Johnnie Carson, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.


Nailing down business commitments


The leaders meet Friday at an event hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to launch what Carson says will be significant new business commitments for African agriculture. They also will discuss how best to address issues of hunger and poverty in a development environment affected by the global economic crisis.


Carson said the Obama administration's "Feed the Future" program is designed to create a green, agricultural revolution in Africa like those that ended widespread hunger in much of Latin America and Asia in the 1960's and 1970's.


"Africa has enormous promise and potential in the agricultural field. And there is absolutely no reason why Africa should be in a food deficit, why there should be insufficiency in the continent, and why it can not, in fact, be a major agro-producer not only for the continent, but also for export globally," said Carson.


Money, ingenuity and opportunity


Working with the United Nations and the G8, Carson said Obama is determined to spotlight Africa's agricultural challenges and opportunities for private sector investors. African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka and African Union chairman Jean Ping will join those talks.


Relief groups including ActionAid, Oxfam, Save the Children, and World Vision are calling on G8 leaders to start by meeting their existing financial commitments to easing hunger in Africa.
 

Friday's new initiative is expected to target 50 million food-insecure people by boosting agricultural investments. In sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 80 percent of food is still grown by small-scale farmers.

 

 

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Optimist from: Everywhere
May 17, 2012 12:34 PM
Ask Eritreans how to secure food in Africa. They know how to do it in less than five years.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs