AfCFTA: African ministers call for enhanced food value chain
African ministers have called for enhancing sustainable regional value chains for food security through the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The ministers made the call in a communiqué issued at the Egypt – International Cooperation Forum (EGYPT-ICF) and Meeting of African Ministers of Finance, Economy and Environment held in Cairo, Egypt.
The ministers called for the enhancement of synergies to unlock green and blue industrial development for the private sector through the development of integrated sustainable value chains in AfCFTA.
They encouraged countries to engage in efficient food management and storage projects in agriculture to improve food supply chains, limit price increases, and support agricultural resilience.
“In this regard, we urge the strengthening of the efficacy of free trade agreements, especially AfCTA, to increase the resilience of African countries against food supply shocks,” they said. “Strengthening cost-effective investments and implementation at scale around food security and agriculture, for both adaptation and mitigation is imperative.”
According to the statement, this includes early action, protection of the most vulnerable through safety nets, insurances, social protection, resilient infrastructure, nature-based solutions including land rehabilitation, climate-smart agriculture, healthy and sustainable diets and access to markets through the AfCFTA.
The ministers further stated that it should be a political and development priority across multiple sectors, as it was not only related to agriculture.
Meanwhile, the ministers called for reducing the cost of green borrowing and the enabling role of International Financing Institutions and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).
The ministers invited the UN System, the African Union Commission, the AfDB and partners to strengthen the capacity of African countries. The invitation is to take advantage of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST), and other innovative financing mechanisms, including green and blue bonds and debt swaps for biodiversity and sustainable development.
“Meeting the African nationally determined contribution financing needs and those of all developing countries merits consideration of the appropriate scale of MDB climate and development finance,” it noted. “If the developing countries continue to borrow to invest for climate purposes, the MDBs will need to provide a significant share of these investments in climate-resilient, low-emissions growth.”
The ministers expressed their support for the work of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to introduce a global baseline of sustainability disclosures to meet the needs of capital markets.
They said that this would enhance transparency, accountability, efficiency and comparability across markets.
“We urge the ISSB to work closely with African stakeholders and to provide strong advisory and capacity-building support to achieve early adoption of the ISSB standards in Africa,” said the communique.
The EGYPT-ICF forum was held from September 7 to 9 in Cairo.
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