At the very height of climate change-induced hazards, 32 African countries have converged in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, courtesy of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, to set a roadmap for better understanding and inclusion of agroecology as a means of forging the next best solution for Africa’s food problems.
The three-day conference is one of many endeavors by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) to offset the climate catastrophe through a major agroecology policy solution and curb the negative effects it has on Africans’ social, economic, and ecological well-being
The conference organized in conjunction with Consortium on Climate Change Ethiopia and Environment Protection Authority saw participants including farmers, women groups, faith-based organisations, fisher folks, and the media drawn from the 32 African countries including Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique among others.
AFSA General Coordinator, Dr. Million Balley said the purpose of the high-level engagement was to bring consensus among African actors on climate, such as governments, civil society organizations, Academia, religious leaders, and media among others.
He said it was important to bring this issue to COP 27 because that is a place where agriculture and adaptation are going to be discussed as it is high on the agenda.
“In our engagement with African group of negotiators we could see that they do not have a belief or trust on agroecology, so we just want to create a consensus amongst the civil society organisations to be transmitted to our various governments,” Dr. Balley said.
He said the consensus was not only aimed at COP 27 but on the way and beyond that.
“What shall we do before COP 27, What shall we do at COP 27 and what shall we do post COP 27, so it to refine our agenda at COP 27? It was meant to collaborate and unite our agenda for Africa. So by bringing all these actors together, we are creating a broad base for advocacy to issues related to the subject matter to discuss, deliberate, and advocate”.
He maintained that there was so much confusion about what kind of agriculture Africa should have, towards adapting to the climate crisis that is coming.
“Some of us advocate for agroecology, some say it is climate-smart agriculture while others say it is nature-based solution, so there is a lot of confusion, lots of agendas which emanate from outsiders”.
He noted that as a continent the agenda was not clear.
“Africa traditionally has diverse food but increasingly we are losing our diversity mainly because of the kinds of policies that we are promoting.”
“So we are trying to propose a policy both at the country and continent level which will be coherent amongst us all as often we have lots of policies negating against each other while also bringing food access from all over the world.”