The African Development Bank (AfDB) has hosted a sensitization session dubbed, “Banking on Nutrition” for staff from the West and Central Africa offices at its headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The event involved representatives from partner organizations specialized in the nutrition field such as Nutrition International, which provided technical support and developed a capacity building toolkit on nutrition for Bank staff.
The “Banking on Nutrition” programme was also supported by Big Win Philanthropy and the Aliko Dangote Foundation. AfDB’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke, said the Bank was making every effort to ensure that it did more across the board in everything that touches on nutrition.
“A good example is the Technologies for Africa Agricultural Transformation [initiative], through which we try to get the latest technologies out to farmers to increase productivity, while taking into account not just staple crops but also nutritious crops like orange fleshed sweet potatoes and high-iron beans,“ Blanke told attendees. Bank staff and partner organizations presented updates on their work in respective regions.
Bank project task managers and staff were urged to hone their skills and knowledge on the issue and to develop “nutrition smart” projects.
“This capacity building event brings together partners specialized in the field of nutrition to discuss the need to invest more in nutrition to build Africa’s grey matter infrastructure and emphasize on the need for more commitment to supporting nutrition initiatives,” said Oley Dibba-Wadda, Director of the Bank’s Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development Department.
Participants, partners and Bank staff received insight into the Bank’s nutrition agenda and agreed on recommendations to engage more Bank staff about nutrition activities and policies, as well as the inclusion of nutrition elements in project development.
The multilateral lender explained in a statement that the “Banking on Nutrition” programme is aimed at helping to generate long-term economic growth across Africa by unlocking the nutrition potential of the AfDB’s investment portfolio.
It involves designing the Bank’s investments in areas such as agriculture, water, sanitation, and hygiene, social protection, health and education to become “nutrition smart” and deliver a greater social and economic return alongside achieving nutrition impact.