African citizens join the continent’s top musicians, hundreds of CSOs, and ONE.org to ask leaders to invest more and better in agriculture
As the 23rd African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government Summit gets underway in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, ONE.org’s Do Agric petition which calls on African leaders to recommit to spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments — has gathered more than 2 million signatures of support from African citizens across the continent.
The petition was hand delivered to a number of Heads of State, including Presidents JakayaKikwete of Tanzania, YayiBoni of Benin, John Mahama of Ghana, MahamadouIssoufou of Niger, and MackySall of Senegal.
The petition has also been hand delivered to Vice-President Guy Scott of Zambia, to Prime Ministers Moussa Mara of Mali and BrigiRafini of Niger, as well as to Minister for Agriculture of Nigeria AdesinaAkinwumi, Minister for Agriculture and Food Security of Burkina Faso MahanaZougrana, Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy, NgoziOkonjo-Iweala, and South Africa’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, SenzeniZokwana.
Receiving the petition on June 10 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, President JakayaKikwete said:
“I will champion this cause at the AU Summit. I will present this petition to the other Heads of State. We as African governments cannot succeed in taking agriculture forward unless we modernize it, instead of our people continuing to use the hand-held hoe and other farming implements from pre-biblical times.”
Ghana’s President John Mahama accepted the petition in Accra, Ghana on June 20. He hailed the initiative and reiterated Ghana’s commitment to improving the lives of smallholder farmers, adding that “your campaign is preaching to the converted as we in Ghana are already stepping up the policies and investments in agriculture.”
In April, D’banj and 18 artists representing 11 different countries came together to record the single “Cocoa na Chocolate” in support of the Do Agric campaign. Addressing African leaders on behalf of the artists, D’banj said: