West and North Africa have adopted recommendations to solve value chain challenges in energy transition and food systems to spur intra-regional development.
The recommendations were adopted at the end of a three-day United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) intergovernmental committee of senior officers and experts conference, hosted by Ghana.
Sustainable agriculture, deepened intra-regional trade, especially, through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and renewable energy, were highlighted during the three-day discussions.
The recommendations, birthed from a cross fertilisation of ideas were meant for countries in the two regions to implement in response to the structural causes of perennial energy and food crisis.
Mrs Ngone Diop, Director, ECA West Africa said: “The mutual learning will help strengthen and make progress with intra-regional solutions for energy transition and food security for sustainable development.”
She said this in an interview with the media at the end of the conference in Accra.
Mrs Diop expressed confidence in the implementation of the solutions offered by “capitalising on what we have in the two sub-regions and the extent to which we can use them to unlock our potential.”
Ms Zuzana Schwidrowski, Director, ECA North Africa, said: “We are high on policy agenda to address the energy transition and food security issues in a more sustainable way, with focus on the supply side.”
Ms Schwidrowski said the conference established new grounds in a system-sinking manner to finance programmes, projects and policies to secure Africa’s energy and food systems.
“There are new opportunities AfCFTA and the sub-regions can build on each other complimentarily to champion sustainable development because there are different strengths and needs,” she said.
Dr Kodjo Essiem Mensah-Abrampa, Director-General, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), advised that the solutions offered “should not rest in books, but translate into implementation”.
He asked that the capacities of the youth and women be strengthened to champion the implementation of the solutions to accelerate national and intra-regional development.
The World Economic Forum, an international organisation for public-private cooperation, said Africa had the potential to be a major player in global food networks and relieve a lot of stress on global food security.
That required that its soil was protected through technology, as well as providing fertilisers and ensuring their proper use to have knock-on effects for yields, biodiversity, and hunger.
The Forum also noted that inclusive planning and consensus building would be vital for a successful clean energy transition for the future of Africa, which is projected to be home to some two billion people by 2050.