Leadership, governance and accountability for nutrition

PRIVATE RECEPTION

Hosted by the
African Development Bank and the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food System for Nutrition

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 between 7:30 pm and 9 pm
  • Downtown Des Moines Marriott Hotel, 700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309

Description of the Side Event:

This side event will bring together key nutrition actors, private sector representatives, policy makers and thought leaders during the nutrition social event to call for attention with regard to leadership, governance and mutual accountability to the global challenge of malnutrition.  This is a platform  to urge policymakers, particularly those in economic planning and finance ministries, to ensure mutual accountability on leadership, governance and investments for  nutrition.

The event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 18th October 2017, between 7:30 and 9 pm, as part of the World Food Prize Award for the President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, and the planned venue for the nutrition social event is the Marriott Hotel. The proposed title for the event is “Leadership, governance and accountability for nutrition”.

Why the Side Event?

Despite growing commitment and leadership to global nutrition trends, the levels of malnutrition in Africa has remained unacceptably high. Available global statistics demonstrate that 800 million people are hungry and the vast majority of these unacceptable statistics reside in Africa. Presently, 58 million children under the age of 5 are stunted while 14 million are wasted. Undernutrition remains one of the largest contributors to global child mortality and is linked to about 45 percent of deaths among children under age 5 (Black et al. 2013). In the meanwhile, 10 million children are overweight, with obesity on the rise especially amongst women. Our food systems are failing us and failing to provide healthy, high quality diets, for all.

Increasingly, the Bank has recognized that chronic malnutrition has far reaching implications on human capital development and the most critical period for optimal growth and development is between pregnancy and a child’s second birthdays. This is the first 1,000 days of children’s lives and the period when a child’s immune system and mental capacity is developed. According to President Adesina “Stunted children today will lead to stunted economies tomorrow”.  It’s for this reason that the Bank has repositioned Grey Matter infrastructure as critical factor for Human capital development and as part and parcel of the Banks 10 year Strategy.

In 2016, African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina and former President of Ghana John Kufuor spearheaded the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) initiative, which aims to strengthen political commitment to providing provide healthy for all, tracking progress towards global targets on nutrition, and disseminating evidence. With support from global and regional institutions and partnerships, countries now need to translate their commitments to a continent free of malnutrition, in all its forms, into action and accelerated progress. This will require strong leadership and replication of best practices from African countries and elsewhere, in the face of many challenges in food systems and limited resources.

The World Food Prize day to be held in Iowa in October 2017, is an opportunity to highlight the leadership demonstrated by African countries in providing healthy, high quality diets, and showcase ways in which countries are realizing their vision of a continent free of hunger and malnutrition. It also provides an opportunity to take stock of progress towards mainstreaming nutrition in the region, and discuss and agree on critical actions that are required for food systems at national and regional levels to deliver on the nutrition agenda.

Nutrition is being mainstreamed into the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy.  Flagship programs such as Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), the Transformation of the African Savannah Initiative (TASI), and ENABLE Youth play important roles in diversification of food production and value addition into nutrient-dense foods.  TASI, TAAT, and ENABLE Youth are programs of the Bank for which side events will be held at WFP 2017.

Objectives of the Side Event:

The reception cocktail aims to showcase global and national leadership and commitment to catalyze greater efforts on nutrition at the highest levels across the political spectrum.

Discussion points for presenters and participants:

  1. What are the main challenges hindering achievements for mutual accountability processes for nutrition’s leadership, governance and financing?
  2. What are the key political and leadership factors that can encourage investments for agricultural development and growth for improved nutrition outcomes?
  3. Has the potential role of the private sector engagement for nutrition been adequately exploited?
  4. How can the effectiveness of nutrition interventions be ensured in the current nutritional landscape of worrisome trends in stunting, wasting, underweight, obesity incidences?  How the ALN Champions can play a role?
  5. What are some good lessons being learnt on enabling policy environments especially trough countries leadership across Africa that can be replicated for enhanced nutritional outcomes?

Target Audience:

  • Policy makers and academia.
  • Private sectors
  • Development partners
  • Non sovereign organizations
  • Academia and research institutions
  • Potential investors (equity funds, foundations, MNCs, etc.)

Focal points for the side event:  

  • Jennifer Blanke, Vice President,  Agriculture, Human and Social Development (AHVP)
  • Martin Fregene, Advisor, AHVP Complex