PAP President Call for an Interrogation of the Continent’s Policies and Programmes
‘Building resilience in nutrition on the African continent: Accelerate the human capital, social and economic development.’ Is the theme for this year 2022 first Ordinary Session of the sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP)
The gathering of 270 members from the 54 countries in Africa is taking place at the Parliament’s Headquarters in Midrand, South Africa from 24 October to 11 November 2022.
In his opening speech, H.E Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, lamented on how tragic it is that till date Africa remains a net importer of food, although it has 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land.
What makes it even more sad Charumbira stated is that throughout Africa, 25 countries import more than a third of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia and have naturally experienced fallout from the conflict. Disruptions to wheat supplies from Russia and Ukraine are clearly having major repercussions on food security and nutrition across the continent.
The theme for this year’s session he admitted is timely considering how the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the Russia-Ukraine conflict have exposed glaring inadequacies and skewed economies.
The PAP president further raised concerns over 8 million children under 5 years are stunted, and 58.7 % of those stunted are in Africa. Presenting the facts he stated that only seven (7) member states have stunting rates below 19 percent and 38 African countries have women’s anaemia prevalence rates of more than 30 percent while 20 African states have more than 70 percent prevalence rates for vitamin A supplementation.
According to Charumbira if these facts and figures does not force need to revise the policies, re-examine the investment in agriculture and food self-sufficiency, then nothing else will. Calling for the need PAP to interrogate the continent’s policies and programmes towards enhancing food security and nutrition for the benefit of the people..
“It thus remains imperative that, as the Pan African Parliament we must continue to interrogate the continent’s policies and programmes towards enhancing food security and nutrition for the benefit of our citizenry.”
He backed with call with a line in the PAP Protocol of “Article 3 (5) of the PAP Protocol which enjoins us to “Contribute to a more prosperous future for the peoples of Africa by promoting collective self-reliance and economic recovery.”
The President of the PAP, also presented his performance review report of the PAP activities within the framework of the institution’s vision to “revive, renew, reposition, and reinvigorate” the meetings which took place from 24 October will end on 11 November 2022.
Story By: Florence D.Y. GBOLU