Annual Global Panel Meeting – Day 3
A High-Level Roundtable was the first of a two-part programme to assess future developments and policy action to address malnutrition in the context of agriculture and food systems in Ghana and the region.
The Global Panel convened a High-Level Roundtable to identify opportunities and potential action for policymakers in Ghana and at a regional level. The meeting focussed on improving nutrition outcomes by and brought together Ghana's political leadership including the heads of major national and regional organisations.
The Roundtable was opened by the Global Panel’s co-chairs, former President John A. Kufuor and Sir John Beddington.
The Roundtable aimed to set the agenda for a one day workshop the following day, which would focus on determine next steps and concrete actions.
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Global Panel member Dr Akinwumi Adesina gave the keynote address. He emphasised that transformation of agriculture in Africa must be a top priority “it’s simple: stunted children today lead to stunted economies. Africa can feed itself and must feed itself, but to achieve nutrition security, we need to build more resilient economies, and must aggressively promote biofortification." President Adesina also highlighted the need for robust mechanisms to collect better system-wide data on food. He commented: “we need better data. There must a data revolution in Africa for food systems and nutrition”.
The meeting included contributions of high-level and influential decision makers:
- Paulina Addy, Deputy Director Women in Agricultural Development, and Esi Amoaful, Head of Nutrition Unit at Ghana Health Services, provided an analysis of current policy and discussed the need for forward planning in order to address malnutrition through agriculture and food systems policies.
- Mary Mpereh, Deputy Director, Policy Division, National Development Planning Commission described the challenges facing policy makers dealing with malnutrition in Ghana and highlighted exemplar initiatives that have been implemented.
- Prof Matilda Steiner-Asiedu, Associate Professor in Nutrition, Dean of Biological Sciences, University of Ghana, shared an introduction on the nutritional landscape in Ghana and the Region.
- Global Panel Technical Adviser Prof Jeff Waage, gave an assessment of future challenges for Ghana and the region, including population growth, climate change, urbanisation, and changing food systems.
- Dr Victor Ajieroh, Senior Advisor on Food Security and Nutrition, Office of the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria, highlighted lessons drawn from regional experiences, including Burkina Faso and Nigeria.
- Mohamed Ag Bendech, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, discussed the need for data for Africa and the 2016 Global Nutrition Report.