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At AfDB Annual Meeting in Lusaka, African Leaders Make Economic Case for Increased Nutrition Investments

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina hosts high-level event with new economic data showing increased nutrition investment can result in $83 billion in GDP growth

23 May 2016, Lusaka, Zambia – Today, key African leaders at the African Development Bank (AfDB) Annual Meeting, in partnership with the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, outlined a vision for a new high-level effort and shared new data strengthening the economic case for investment in nutrition across Africa.

The Global Panel's working paper "The economics of reducing malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa" shows increased investments to meet the World Health Assembly target of reducing stunting by 40 percent by 2025 could add $83 billion in additional GDP growth in just 15 sub-Saharan African countries.

Highlighting the critical need for political leadership to take action and invest in these opportunities, AfDB President and Global Panel Member Dr Akinwumi Adesina and H.E. John Kufuor, former President of Ghana and Co-Chair of the Global Panel, outlined intent to create the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN), which aims to bring together heads of state, finance ministers, and leaders from key sectors across the continent to champion and increased investment in nutrition.

“The African Leaders for Nutrition will be an opportunity for Heads of State and ministers to use their voices to commit, their actions to invest, and their positions to truly lead. Not only is it about health, but it is also about economics. The potential gains are significant and lasting. That’s why we’re calling on leaders across Africa to join us in elevating the issue of nutrition on the continent and to make investment a priority." – H.E. John A. Kufuor, former President of Ghana and Global Panel Co-Chair

H.E. Kofi Annan, Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, praised the effort while highlighting the role agriculture can play in defeating malnutrition: “We need agriculture to be nutrition-smart, and I look forward to opportunities for collaboration with the African Leaders for Nutrition on creating agriculture and food production systems that are diverse, efficient and resilient in order to meet the nutritional needs of every community and nation.” - Kofi Annan, Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation

On the launch of the working paper, Sir John Beddington, Global Panel Co-Chair commented: “On behalf of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, I am delighted to give the panel’s full support to African Leaders for Nutrition. Dr Akinwumi Adesina’s leadership on nutrition through this initiative is commendable. The Global Panel is ready to help African leaders move forward to invest in nutrition.”

UK DFID Minister Nick Hurd said: “The UK shares the Global Panel’s commitment to improve nutrition across Africa and I am encouraged by this joined-up approach to tackling this ongoing challenge. Poor nutrition not only has a major, lifelong impact on health, it can also hold back entire economies. That’s why the UK government made it a manifesto commitment to improve the nutrition of 50 million people over the next four years.”
 

About the event: "Achieving Nutrition Security: A call for leadership, partnership, and investment"

 

Photo gallery:

Watch Bill Gates welcoming the formation of the ALN and its potential impact through increased nutrition investments

Watch Kofi Annan praising the effort while highlighting the role agriculture can play in defeating malnutrition