In his speech to the 77th session of the United Nations in New York, the president of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, remarked.
The President said in his speech that Africa views the current geopolitical situation as a chance to rely less on food imports from outside the continent and use our 60% global share of fertile lands better to improve food production.
He claimed, “We have witnessed the disastrous effects of relying on Russia and Ukraine for 70% of our wheat consumption. To create enough fertilizer, food, and energy for both ourselves and others, we have enough land, water, gas, and labor.
President Akufo-Addo stated that “we cannot do it all by ourselves” in spite of this, and he urged the world’s investors to view Africa as “the new frontier for industry, for technology, and for food production.”
In the case of Ghana, the President informed the audience that his government had implemented the successful “One District, One Factory” policy, which, with the help of government incentives, had led to the establishment of approximately one hundred and twenty-five (125) businesses, taking advantage of each region’s competitive advantage.
“Because of this, my administration started an aggressive planting for food and jobs policy six years ago, which has greatly increased the harvests of our farmers. We are acknowledging that many of the items we import are available or produced in Ghana or other African nations “Added he.
The President emphasized that the African Continental Free Commerce Area is pushing intra-Africa trade and providing an unmatched momentum for Africa’s economic diversification and change since its secretariat is based in Ghana.
According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghana has implemented policies to increase the value of its natural resources, which is in line with our understanding that industrialization is the way to go and that the single market serves as an additional incentive.
“For instance, we are aiming to fully utilize the value chain of our enormous lithium deposits and we are processing more of our cocoa and refining more of our gold. We are actively developing integrated bauxite, aluminum, and iron and steel industries, as well as new oil refineries, and have thus far convinced six (6) of the largest automakers in the world to establish assembling plants in Ghana before constructing cars there “he said.
The President stated that Africa’s ambition is to transform her food systems over the next ten years, anchored in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth. This is in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
What we need right now is assistance from the investor community to launch Africa’s lucrative agro-industry, and for the community to view agribusiness in Africa as far more of an opportunity than the perceived, exaggerated risk that has been the false, but prevailing narrative.
President Akufo-Addo instructed the UN to “take proper stock of this project and ask a few searching questions, recognising what could have been done with greater commitment and focus” as a final directive.