By Sung Lee
Today's top stories on global agricultural development and food security issues.
African Business Leader Appointed New President of AGRA, AllAfrica, April 11
Kofi Annan, Chair of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, announced the appointment of a renowned African business leader from Kenya, Ms Jane Karuku, as the new president of the organization. Ms Karuku's career has spanned over 20 years, most of which has been spent in the agricultural sector. She joins AGRA from Telkom Kenya a subsidiary of France Telecom-Orange where she has been Deputy Chief Executive. She takes over from Dr Namanga Ngongi who is retiring after five years as the first president of AGRA.
Biotech Can Safeguard Africa's Breadbasket, Opinion, Filbert Arap Bor, Wall Street Journal, April 10
There is no simple solution to Africa's problems, and the root causes involve everything from political instability to unrelenting poverty. Genetically modified crops will guard against one of the most significant threats to farming in Africa: crop failure. Pest outbreaks can turn an excellent harvest into a rotten one almost overnight. Biotechnology offers seeds that will grow into healthy plants that naturally fight off insect predators.
"It Takes A Village" And More To Change Lives In Uganda, Opinion, Helene D. Gayle, Huffington Post, April 10
Nongovernmental organizations, community groups, governments and the private sector need to continue to work together as partners to create strong programs. Together, we can create integrated programs that will enable more women to stand on their own and contribute to the wellbeing of their families.
UN agencies warn of ‘dramatic’ crisis brewing in Africa’s Sahel region, Washington Post, April 10
The U.N.’s High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said the situation in the 3,400-mile zone that stretches from the Atlantic to the Red Sea is suffering from lack of attention because of the conflict in Syria. The region, which includes countries such as Mali, Chad and Niger has been hit hard by political instability and three droughts in less than 10 years. A U.N. appeal in December for $724 million to fund aid operations in the Sahel has elicited only half that amount so far, Guterres said.
Foreign Aid II: USAID, Development Trends, and the Presidential Campaign, Isobel Coleman, Council on Foreign Relations, April 6
The U.S. foreign assistance landscape will probably experience significant continuity no matter who wins the White House in November. This is because, first, there’s a broad consensus among policymakers that foreign assistance is an important component of U.S. soft power, and that it can advance strategic priorities. But beyond that, four major trends are already ongoing in the U.S. aid apparatus, led by USAID, and these are likely to endure.