Poverty in Africa is not a permanent condition as it can banished by commitment and visionary leadership, a bank chairman has said.
“The seemingly endless cycle of poverty associated with the African continent could be eradicated through passionate commitment ignited by the believe in a green revolution in Africa,” said Equity Bank’s Peter Munga.
He spoke in Olso, Norway after receiving the Yara prize for his role in transforming small scale agriculture in Africa.
The awards were organised by the Yara Foundation whose objective is to support former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s call for an African green revolution and the UN Millennium Project’s goal of halving poverty and hunger in Africa by 2015.
The chairman was awarded for his work in touching the lives and fortunes of small scale farmers on the continent by empowering them to be creators and generators of employment.
Mr Munga immediately dedicated the $100,000 prize money (Sh8 million) to mentoring, inspiring and enabling small scale farmers to achieve a green revolution in Africa.
“The Yara prize demonstrates that small scale farmers need not only capital, but also require a mind shift to revolutionise agriculture into a viable and sustainable enterprise,” said Mr Munga.
The chairman urged Africa to believe in herself, and look at the prevailing challenges as limitless opportunities that will transform the continent into a beacon of hope for the entire world.
Mr Munga was awarded the prize jointly with the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi for their contributions to the reduction of hunger and poverty on the continent.
This year’s prize recognised that farmers need more than increased access to inputs and higher yields if productivity gains are to be sustained growers. They also need to strengthen the entire value chain.