Lagos - Music superstar, D’banj, urged local communities to tap into farming to create employment and help the continent sustain itself.
The Zaria-born artist was one of several prominent individuals to grace the launch of a campaign calling for African governments to commit to spending at least 10 percent of national budgets on effective agriculture investments, through transparent and accountable budgets.
“There are massive untapped business opportunities in agriculture that could create jobs for millions of Africans on and off the farm. I want Africans to know that farming is not only the foundation of the economy, but also that farming is cool. I believe that, if the needed attention is given to agriculture, we Africans will not only feed ourselves, but also the rest of the world,” said D’Banj in Ethiopia on Wednesday.
The launch of Do Agric in Addis Ababa coincides with the 2014 January African Union (AU) summit, where heads of state have gathered to discuss key development challenges across the continent. The AU has declared 2014 the Year of Agriculture in Africa.
“Now is the time to get our leaders to commit to a big push toward implementing effective agricultural policies, scale up public investment in agriculture and catalyze private sector participation in agriculture development,” says ONE Africa Director Dr Sipho Moyo.
“Of the more than 400 million Africans living in extreme poverty, 70 percent live in rural areas that depend on agriculture. Remarkably, the multiplier effect of agricultural growth in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be 11 times greater in reducing poverty than in other non-agriculture sectors, such as utilities and mining.”
ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of more than 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.
– CAJ News