As the African Union prepares to meet this week in Addis Ababa, we are excited to feature a renowned Ethiopian voice in support of ONE’s Thrive campaign. Haile Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who has held at least 27 world records in various long-distance runs, urges people to take action in support of agricultural development around the continent. Haile has seen first-hand the devastation wrought by famine in his country—and the miracle of smart planning and development that helped Ethiopia avoid the worst of last year’s famine in the region (you can also watch a short video about Tigray, a region in Ethiopia wrecked by famine in the 1980s, and its remarkable transformation).
I have run, and won many marathon races around the world in my lifetime. And each time I run, I carry Ethiopia and Africa in my heart. I come from a country that has seen some of the worst famines in the world. I therefore know first hand, what hunger and malnutrition look like.
Today, Africa is in the race of a lifetime. It’s a race that often marks the difference between life and death. It’s a race against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
It’s a race that we can win, for our brothers and sisters in Africa.
Dear African leaders, It’s time to break the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. When you meet in Addis Ababa please recommit to investing in agriculture and nutrition to help pull 31 million Africans out of poverty and save 12 million children from stunting.
We can begin to make a difference by calling on our leaders to make smart investments in Agriculture. They will be gathering for the African Union summit in Addis Ababa next week and we want to take a message to them that we can break the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty.
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