AFRICA: from Bouaké to Abidjan, musicians sing for food security

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AFRICA: from Bouaké to Abidjan, musicians sing for food security© FEMUA

How can Africa develop environmentally friendly and efficient agriculture to ensure food self-sufficiency? This question, which is at the heart of the second United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG2), is being addressed at the 15th Anoumabo Music Festival (FEMUA). The event runs until 30 April 2023 in the cities of Bouaké and Abidjan in Ivory Coast.

In Ivory Coast, the voice of Africa resounds to the sound of concerts given by artists from all regions to sing the climate resilience of the continent. This is the occasion of the Anoumabo Music Festival (FEMUA) which opened on 25 April 2023 under the theme “Food security and sustainable agriculture”. For four days, the event brings together political leaders, civil society including entrepreneurs and culture lovers in Abidjan, then in Bouaké, the second largest Ivorian city.

Between Karaoke, workshops and exhibitions, the participants of FEMUA are singing with one voice the solutions to curb the hazards that are weakening the livelihoods of many Africans at an alarming rate, including the war in Ukraine which is undermining food supplies. There is also the prolonged droughts which dries up crops and and accelerates due to massive deforestation, particularly south of the Sahara.

Indeed, it is this phenomenon, accentuated by the conversion of forests into agricultural land, particularly for the cultivation of cocoa in Ivory Coast (the world’s leading cocoa producer with 1.4 million tonnes in 2022), that has motivated the Ivorian government to sponsor FEMUA 2023, organised by the legendary group Magic System. According toA’salfo (real name Salif Traoré) its lead singer, the aim is to “boost agricultural entrepreneurship in Africa, particularly among young people”.

Read also-AFRICA: AfDB Issues First Green Bond to Support Food Security

For this festival, which hopes to set the tone for the ecological transition in Africa, it is a strategic choice to have invited the new nuggets of African song to the stage. These include Ariel Sheney, Roseline Layo, Ks Bloom, Safarel Obiang and Santrinos Raphael from Togo. The West African country, which has just set up a National Committee for Sustainable Development (CNDD), is the guest of honour at this 15th edition of FEMUA.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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