AfDB President Attends AU Pledging Conference on Drought and Famine for the Horn of Africa

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“Time has come to address the root causes of the famines in the Horn.”

AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka and his delegation attended the AU Conference in Addis Ababa, on 25 August 2011 on the crisis in the Horn of Africa – a combination of the worst drought in 60 years, the war in Somalia, the attendant refugee movements and internally displaced persons – which has exacerbated the impact of the drought. The Pledging Conference was convened to enable “an African response to an African problem” – from governments, international organizations and the private sector. 

In his statement to the Summit, the President said: 

“Time has come to put an end to these repeated cycles of famine in the Horn – the solutions are not beyond our grasp. The cycle of doing the same thing each time and expecting a different outcome is what we should bring to an end. Let us address the immediate issues but charting out long-term solutions”. 

He observed that, while the Bank has no humanitarian mandate, it has made a contribution of four million dollars through competent organizations. The President indicated that the Bank has just concluded a comprehensive study on sustainable livestock development in the Greater Horn of Africa and a fifteen year investment programme, which has the potential to change the dynamics of livestock management in the region – a critical element in building resilience.

The President indicated that a total of US$ 300 million will be committed in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region between 2011-2013, in support of long-term programmes to build resilience through water and agriculture interventions and promotion of economic opportunities in the Region.  

He emphasized that Somalia, before 1990, was a net exporter of agricultural produce. “The long-term solutions, both national and regional, premised on peace and stability are key to restoring prosperity in Somalia.”