President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has asked Heads of States across the African continent to work collaboratively with African universities and stakeholders outside the continent to enable the development of human capital, research and innovation for dependable food systems in the continent.
Chakwera said countries must take bold steps in instituting industrial policies that promote private investment and job growth in local non-farm sectors, attract investments in agri-food systems as well as strengthen educational value chains from universities if the continent is to improve food systems.
The Malawi leader made the remarks when he opened a Pre-UN Food Systems Summit dialogue with selected Heads of States and Actors ahead of the 2021 UN food Summit.
The food systems summit is a call by the United Nations to world leaders and other key food system players including farmers to ignite action towards the achievement of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Therefore, in preparation for the Food Systems Summit in October this year, the UN Secretary-General had put in place several structures to support the Summit process including this Pre- UN Food Systems Summit Dialogue for African Heads of States being hosted by Malawi.
The country is hosting the Pre-summit in partnership with the Regional University Forum for Capacity Building (RUFORUM) a network of 129 universities in 38 African countries.
According to President Chakwera, the dialogue provides a platform to get collective voices from African leaders which are to be forwarded for consideration at the main summit.
He also said the UN Food Systems seeks to generate significant action and measurable progress towards the attainment of agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals hence the need to work collaboratively.
After leaders of different countries and representatives added their voices to the discussion, a Lilongwe declaration on the same has been endorsed and adopted signifying the African United front as they go to the summit in a few months.
Among other dignitaries that attended the dialogue include President for Uganda Yoweri Museveni, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mozambique and representatives of Presidents from Benin, Sudan and Rwanda.