3 in 4 African Govts Spend More on Arms, Less on Farms

Three-quarters of African governments have already reduced their agricultural budgets while paying almost double that on arms, writes Baher Kamal for Inter Press Service.

Africa is home to a quarter of the world's entire agricultural land. Nevertheless, in the 12 months that African leaders vowed to improve food security in the continent, over 20 million more people have been pushed into "severe hunger."

The majority of African governments (48 out of 54) reportedly spend an average of 3.8% of their budgets on agriculture -some spending as little as 1%. Nearly three quarters of these governments have reduced their agricultural spending since 2019, failing to honour their Malabo commitments to invest at least 10% of their budget on agriculture.

In 2014 African leaders signed the Malabo Declaration, which stipulated that African governments must spend at least 10% of their budget on Agriculture and supporting farmers.

In contrast, "African governments spent nearly double that budget (6.4%) on arms in 2022. Ongoing conflict, especially in Sahel and Central Africa, has continued to destroy farmland, displace people and fuel hunger."

Oxfam reports that climate change is fuelling hunger for millions of people around the world. "Extreme weather events have increased five-fold over the past 50 years, destroying homes, decimating livelihoods, fuelling conflict and displacement, and deepening inequality.

Climate change has resulted in more frequent and intense droughts, floods, and heat waves.


(file photo).

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