Ndidi Nwuneli: Africa’s Pivotal Role in Global Food Security

Kilimokwanza.org Team

AGRA Board Member Ndidi N Okonkwo Nwuneli has emphasized Africa’s critical role in feeding the world, given the right policies and funding.

“Africa’s potential in global food production is immense. However, the challenge remains in the allocation and utilization of resources. Despite the continent receiving less than 2% of global climate funds, there’s a need for a paradigm shift,” Nwuneli , who is also the Executive Chair of Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition

She pointed out the need for local organizations, African governments, and investors to benefit more significantly from global funds. “It’s about taking ownership, supporting, and building partnerships to hold ourselves and the global community accountable,” she explained.

Nwuneli also highlighted the importance of viewing climate and food as avenues for growth. “Investing in green businesses and green food businesses is crucial. It’s not just about addressing damage from natural disasters but also about fostering growth.”

A major focus of Nwuneli’s address was the need for innovation and localization in agriculture. She underscored the importance of adapting to new standards without limiting African businesses. “Data, innovation, funding, and localization are key. We need to put our most vulnerable populations and farmers at the forefront of change,” she asserted.

Nwuneli expressed her belief in the transformative power of African food changemakers. “Through scaling businesses, innovations, and technology, we aim to nourish Africa and the world. Our indigenous foods like cassava, millet, sorghum, and beans are not only nutritious but also embody the principles of a circular economy,” she noted.

She highlighted three key areas where Africa can contribute globally:

  1. Nutritional Value of Indigenous Foods: “African indigenous foods are highly nutritious and have been overlooked. Celebrating and amplifying these foods can be a global gift.”
  2. Regenerative Agriculture: “African farmers have long practiced sustainable farming methods. The world can learn a lot from our low tillage and natural farming techniques.”
  3. Global Dependency on African Produce: “Many don’t realize that a significant portion of the world’s cocoa, sesame, cola nuts, and coffee originates from Africa. These products are integral to global consumption.”

Nwuneli also touched on the importance of changing the narrative around Africa from one of hunger to one of successful entrepreneurship and innovation. “We need to shift the mindset from seeing Africa as a place of need to a hub of food innovation and sustainable practices,” she emphasized.

Furthermore, Nwuneli discussed the need for an enabling environment for agriculture in Africa. “Training young people to view agriculture as a business, embracing technology, and offering competitive wages are crucial steps. We also need policies that stimulate the economy and support local food production,” she added.

Nwuneli’s message was clear: with the right support, policies, and innovation, Africa can not only feed itself but also make a significant contribution to global food security.