Nomzamo Mbatha, Sarkodie and other stars pen open letter to African leaders

22 September 2022 - 13:00
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Nomzamo Mbatha hopes African leaders will act to end the hunger crisis.
Nomzamo Mbatha hopes African leaders will act to end the hunger crisis.
Image: Sims Tshabalala

SA-born actress Nomzamo Mbatha has joined other international stars to pen a letter calling on African leaders to do right by their continent.

Before the 2022 Global Citizen festival in New York and Accra, Ghana, on September 24, Nomzamo and Ameyaw Debrah, Esther Chungu, Thandi Vundamina, Natasha Vandermaa, Darkovibes Berla Mundi, Sarkodie, Slap Dee, Gyakie and Sabrina Dhowre Elba urged African leaders to act to end hunger on the continent.

Read the full letter below:

Dear African leaders,

Ending hunger has been one of the greatest challenges of our times and the devastating events from the past two years have intensified food insecurity. In 2021, a staggering 278-million Africans — 1 in 5 people — were affected by malnutrition.

The invasion of Ukraine has further increased these conditions. Back-to-back emergencies aggravated by climate change, conflict and a pandemic are affecting people across our continent. Many now face starvation, children are not getting the nutrients they need to grow to their full potential and year-on-year droughts have caused failed harvests, making it hard for African farmers to grow food and for the continent to become self-sufficient. The good news is that immediate action by you can make a difference.

In 2014, African leaders developed a framework — the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) to enhance agricultural production and bring about food security on the continent. This was a critical step in recognising how important the sector is for economic growth and to reduce poverty.

However, right now, we desperately need you to meet your commitments for the future of the continent. The G20 Summit and COP27 are taking place in a few weeks and achieving global co-operation on food security would be a major win.

Ahead of them, we are calling on you to urgently act to:

● Increase the share of domestic agriculture expenditure on adaptation to be in line with CAADP commitments, such as improving social safety nets, investing in more dietary diverse food systems and securing access to irrigated land.

● Expand the African Emergency Food Production Facility to reach of 30-million farmers to boost their access to agricultural fertilisers and allow them to produce food urgently.

● Pledge to stop rising food prices by keeping them and agricultural markets open and guard against unjustified restrictive measures on food and agriculture exports.

● Reduce reliance on food imports by investing in domestic production, agricultural adaptation and increasing agricultural output in a sustainable manner.

Act now so that everyone across our beautiful continent can have enough food to live and thrive, now and in the future.

With hope,

Nomzamo Mbatha, Ameyaw Debrah, Esther Chungu, Thandi Vundamina, Natasha Vandermaa, Darkovibes Berla Mundi, Sarkodie, Slap DeeGyakie and Sabrina Dhowre Elba.


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