February 5/2022/ENA/ Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that the implementation of Agenda 2063 and its flagship projects will require Africa to make extraordinary collective efforts.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU), he said the African Union is committed to undertake ambitious plans designed to transform the continent.
People in the continent also want a prosperous Africa based on sustainable and equitable development and a politically united continent that aspires to fulfill the ideals of pan-Africanism and the vision of an African Renaissance, he added.
To realize and fulfill this vision and implement Agenda 2063, Abiy stressed on the need to reinforce extraordinary collective efforts.
“Fulfilling our aim of birthing the Africa we want through robust implementation of Agenda 2063 and its flagship projects will require us to make extraordinary efforts collectively,” he noted.
He further pointed out that over the past year, acute food insecurity in Africa has increased by over 60 percent as the effects of COVID-19 continue to aggravate the continent’s fragile economies.
“Floods, droughts, desert locust and other climate-related natural disasters have increased food insecurity for millions of our citizens. With 60 percent of the world’s arable land in Africa, it is of utmost importance that we need to use our natural assets to maximize agricultural output and feed our people without reliance on external assistance.”
In connection with this, the PM cited Ethiopia’s substantial investments in agricultural productivity through irrigation, and that farmers have been able to control and manage production factors to maximize yields using irrigation.
“In the past two years, Ethiopia has made substantial investments in intensifying summer wheat production through irrigation. Our farmers have been able to control and manage production factors to maximize yields using irrigation. Nationally, we have attained production of 20 million quintals of irrigated wheat farmed on over 500,000 hectares. This has generated nearly 60 billion Birr income to our farmers.”
According to him, these efforts are generating great results and will, in the imaginable future, begin to contribute to the country’s food security and self-sufficiency, despite the climate variability the region is confronted with.
Abiy also indicated that Ethiopia has launched a major reforestation initiative under the slogan “Green Legacy” since 2019.
“One of the toughest challenges we face in Ethiopia is dealing with the effects of deforestation. While Ethiopia’s forest coverage was 35 percent a century ago, forest coverage stands at just 4 percent over the past two decades. We believe afforestation is one of the most effective ways of climate change mitigation.”
The country has managed to plant 18 billion seedlings in a mere three years, out of the planned 20 billion in four years.
With the Green Legacy initiative in this final year, Ethiopia will not only meet its national target, but plans to surpass the target by reaching 25 billion, the premier said.
In addition, the country has sent seedlings to neighboring countries through this initiative to inspire regional efforts.
He stressed that “if we can collaborate to spread the message of ‘Green Legacy’ in the continent and implement measures that maximize food security and self-sufficiency, we will be able to guarantee our citizens the basic necessities of life without reliance on charity.”