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Leaders Convene to Accelerate Agricultural Adaptation in Africa

Abuja – Nigeria, October 16, 2023 – The inaugural conference on Agricultural Adaptation in Africa jointly organized by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in collaboration with other partners, aims to ignite a collective effort to expedite agricultural adaptation. This includes encouraging active involvement of smallholder farmers in international climate dialogues and interventions.

In the opening ceremony, Dr. Sadiq Wanka, Special Advisor to the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, expressed gratitude to the organizers, underscoring its significance at a time when Africa’s agriculture heavily relies on rainfall. With the backdrop of climate-induced erratic rainfall and shifting seasons causing uncertainty for farming communities and significant livestock losses for pastoralist communities, he emphasized the urgency of accelerating agricultural adaptation.

Dr. Salisu Dahiru, Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) and Head of the Secretariat in Nigeria, reiterated the conference’s pivotal role as a platform for knowledge exchange and innovation. He remarked, “The importance of this conference cannot be overstated. It stands as a crucial platform where we can unite, share knowledge, and engage in fruitful discussions on strategies and solutions that will pave the way for sustainable agricultural practices in Africa, even in the face of climate adversities.”

Professor Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), laid out the bank’s four-pillar approach to achieving success in the agriculture sector. These pillars include climate-smart digital technologies for agriculture and food security, Africa infrastructure resilience acceleration, empowering youth for entrepreneurship and job creation in climate adaptation, and innovative finance initiatives. He stressed that agriculture plays a pivotal role in the sustainability of African countries.

Representing the World Bank country office in Nigeria, Mrs. Drita Dade commended the conference, emphasizing that inaction in addressing climate challenges not only jeopardizes food security but also endangers rural livelihoods and further strains natural resources already under pressure.

The African Development Bank estimates that adaptation and resilience costs for the continent will soar to $30 billion per annum by 2030. Augustine Njamnshi, Chair of Technical and Political Affairs at PACJA, urged participants to consider adaptation beyond its basic concept, highlighting the urgent priority it represents. “Adaptation in the agriculture sector is a matter of survival, protecting the livelihoods of millions of farmers, ensuring food security, and preserving natural resources for future generations,” said Augustine Njamnshi, emphasizing the need for immediate action.

This conference is the first of its kind in Africa, focusing on shaping the future of the agricultural sector within the context of a changing climate. Over the course of four days, participants will engage in extensive discussions and presentations on various critical topics, including capacity building, policy and funding landscapes, low-carbon resilient agricultural systems, inclusivity in agriculture for women, youth, pastoralists, and other marginalized groups, a just transition in African adaptation agriculture and food systems, and elevating the visibility of African Agricultural Adaptation on the global stage.

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