Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General, said Wednesday that the need for higher investments in agriculture in Africa has been highlighted by the steep rise in food prices over the past year.
"It is time for intensified support by the international community and African governments to productive, resilient and sustainable agricultural sectors across the continent," said Migiro in a keynote speech at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
Hailing sub-Saharan Africa's economic growth of some 6 percent as the best in several decades, she said that it is still below the growth rate needed to halve extreme poverty by 2015.
Africa, however, is working for its own peace and security with a decline in armed conflicts, he said.
The UN deputy chief urged international financial institutions and other development partners to review how to strengthen international support to African governments in such areas as health, education, agriculture and food security, infrastructure, trade facilitation, and national statistical capacity.
Pledging the UN's unwavering dedication to Africa's better tomorrow, Migiro expressed the hope that the TICAD IV will make a major contribution to the future of Africa and the world.
The three-day TICAD conference opened Wednesday in Japan's southeastern port city of Yokohama. Representatives from 52 African countries, 71 international and regional organizations are present at the quinquennial event, under the theme "Toward a Vibrant Africa: A Continent of Hope and Opportunity."
The TICAD is a policy forum for African Development which Japan initiated in 1993 and has led with other co-organizers which consist of the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on African, the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank.
A central feature of the TICAD is the cooperation between Asia and Africa.