Transforming Africa’s Agriculture: AU Summit to focus on Agriculture and Food Security
Last month, in Addis-Ababa, Ministers responsible for agriculture, rural development, fisheries and aquaculture encouraged an inclusive and interactive dialogue on the transformation of Africa’s agriculture for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods through harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development.
They reviewed progress on investing in rural development, fisheries and aquaculture, especially efforts on impacting on production and productivity, access to markets and competitiveness innovation, resilience and investment finance and their implications on the achievement of the overarching goal of attaining food and nutrition security and poverty reduction in Africa.
Mr. Bukar Tijani, Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Africa (Accra), who attended the meeting, recognizes that Africa is today the rising continent with seven of the fastest growing economies in the World.
‘We [Africans] were cited as the dying continent – 32% of our population suffered from undernourishment. Today, the prevalence is less than 25% just to site an example.’ he said. ‘We have collectively made commendable steps underpinned by good leadership reversing the view.’
‘Ending Hunger is not some elusive concept. It is achievable as has been done in a number of countries.’ he added. ‘This should be a strong message to Malabo, at the forthcoming AU Summit dedicated to Agriculture and Food Security’.
The 10th Anniversary of CAADP is an important milestone and an opportunity to continue to prioritize agriculture and food security in policy and implementation to generate concrete results and impacts.
At continental level, FAO’s work is firmly grounded in the vision and principles of the Sustaining CAADP Momentum document and the CAADP Results Framework.
Mr. Modibo Traore, FAO Representative to the African Union/UNECA/Ethiopia and sub-regional coordinator in Eastern Africa, confirms that ‘One of our major priority areas for Africa for the 2014-2015 biennium is entitled Renewed Partnership for a Unified Approach to End Hunger in Africa by 2015′.
‘It seeks to respond to country requests for support by adding value to or filling gaps in on-going work (both for FAO and strategic partners) and by identifying concrete windows of opportunity to promote an integrated approach to improving food security and nutrition’, he adds.
The Twenty-Fourth Ordinary Session of the AU’s Executive Council, in January 2014, took note of the Report of the High Level Meeting on Partnerships towards Ending Hunger in Africa , that was held on the 29th of June 2013, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; endorsed the Declaration of the High Level Meeting On Ending Hunger in Africa by the year 2025 and commended the AU Commission, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Lula Institute of Brazil for their collaborative efforts in successfully organizing the High Level Meeting.
At the advocacy level, the AU Year of Agriculture and Food Security compliments to the UN International Year of Family Farming , which aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.
The goal of the 2014 International Year of Family Farming is to reposition family farming at the center of agricultural, environmental and social policies in the national agendas by identifying gaps and opportunities to promote a shift towards a more equal and balanced development.
Recently, African Ministers of Agriculture assembled in Tunis at the 28th Regional Conference of FAO for Africa (24-28 March, 2014) , declared that Africa, given the recent high levels of economic growth in many countries, has unique opportunities to revitalize initiatives toward agriculture and food systems with specific support and focus on opportunities for youth.
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