By Olimatou Coker
NaNA in partnership with Africa Catalysing Action for Nutrition (AfriCAN) Thursday launched the strategic plan for AfriCAN at Bakadaji hotel. The organisation is established to mobilise and harness the continent’s underutilised and untapped resources towards improving nutrition.
Its role is to inform, advocate, educate and inspire action and accountability at all levels and thus enable communities to become nutrition literate and improve nutrition outcomes at individual, household and community levels.
The launching was held under the theme: “The youth are the foundation of nutrition literate in communities; good nutrition starts with me”.
Dr Namanga Ngongi, AfriCAN board chair said since last year, the nutrition situation in Africa has not changed much but the Ukraine-Russia war has made access to nutritious food difficult in many African countries which has led to malnutrition.
He disclosed that targets that were set for the Malabo Declaration have not been met, especially the target to end hunger and malnutrition by 2025 and to reduce stunting to 10 percent.
Isatou Jallow, AfriCAN executive director adduced that Africa, despite boosting of abundant resources has continued to suffer from malnutrition, undernutrition, overnutrition, micro-nutrient deficiencies, and diet related non-communicable diseases.
She highlighted that Africa’s greatest resource is its people but they are overlooked. She added that there is no shortage of policy declarations and commitments to end hunger and reduce malnutrition but there is no political will.
Madam Jallow said for Africa to ensure sustainable socio-economic development, it has to invest in women.
Dr Amat Bah, executive director of NaNA, said his office is recognised as one of the best institutions for nutrition in the subregion and beyond, noting that they have put structures in place that are important for nutrition.
He also noted that they have made significant leaps towards achieving nutritional status, stunting, and iodised salts competition, among others.