President Paul Kagame has challenged African leaders to commit to the implementation of the long discussed ideas for the transformation of food systems and livelihoods that depend on them. He was addressing the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Presidential Summit hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, on September 8. Some 35 per cent of the world’s hungry people are in Africa, and yet 70 per cent of the continent’s adults work in agriculture and agribusiness. “If they aren’t doing well then Africa isn’t doing well,” Kagame said, as he made the case for equitable and affordable access to food for all. The African Continental Free Trade Area was a big business opportunity to leverage for trading the produce with one another, Kagame said, however pointing out that a fairer global trade regime for food products is necessary. He also touched on the daunting challenges of climate change, which continue to undermine food production on the continent. With stakes very high when it comes to climate change, Kagame has advocated for a common African voice on the global stage. Platforms such as UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and UN Food Systems Summit are considered to be a good stage for Africa to advance its position. President Kagame disclosed that the African Union Development Agency, NEPAD, has facilitated an African common position ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit. Five tracks have been suggested in order to ensure equitable and affordable access to food. They include; nutrition and school feeding, supporting local markets and supply chains and trade within Africa, increase financing of agriculture to 10 per cent of public expenditure. They also include, helping smallholder farmers especially women, expanding social safety nets and climate early warning data systems. “We must bear in mind that success comes down to implementing these bold ideas, not just discussing them. We cannot afford business as usual, when it comes to food systems, and the livelihoods that depend on food production.” President Kagame However, on the issue of financing, Josefa Leonel Correa Sacko, Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission said very few African countries are in investing in agriculture. “In Maputo declaration of 2003, African states committed to invest 10 per cent in agriculture and up to now, most of them didn’t comply according to our bi-annual review report…we are not talking about asking outside investors but our public investment,” she said. Kagame pointed out that for food systems transformation implies importing less food, because “we are capable of growing more of what we consume.” According to him, this is a move to halt over-reliance on food imports as Africa’s main goal.