FAO takes part in a High-Level Conference “Feeding Africa–An Action Plan for African Agricultural Transformation” in Dakar, Senegal, from 21 to 23 October 2015.
Convened by the African Development Bank (AfDB), with the support of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Republic of Senegal, the conference aims at coming up with a coherent action plan for agricultural transformation in Africa.
The essence is to build a strong and sustainable agricultural sector for food and nutrition security, youth employment, poverty alleviation, social protection for vulnerable producers and farming families.
On behalf of FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, the FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, Mr. Bukar Tijani, conveyed a Goodwill message.
Mr. Tijani seized this opportunity to underline that this conference will go a long-way in terms of fast-tracking the agricultural transformation process in Africa, as the African leaders have themselves committed to in Malabo, including on enhancing investment finances and enhancing mutual accountability.
“FAO is ready to work with and support the efforts of African stakeholders, through its robust delivery mechanisms that respond to regional and country priorities for an efficient, sustainable and inclusive agriculture in Africa”, stated Mr. Tijani, outlining examples of successful partnerships between FAO and AfDB.
During the three-days meeting, FAO will convene work stream sessions on Blue Economy: Fisheries and Aquaculture and Institutional Strengthening, and co-convene work stream sessions on Women in Agriculture, Agricultural mechanization and Climate Smart Agriculture.
The new impetus provided by the African Union, in particular through its Agenda 2063 for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development and the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods, requires pragmatic policies and strategies that encourage private sector investments in agriculture and public-private partnerships. FAO has accumulated experience and practices, while having assisted many countries in Africa to elaborate their own agricultural strategies and investment plans.
The three-days conference in Dakar will gather around 500 participants from across the continent and beyond, among whom Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economy, the Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development, select Ministers of Industry and Trade as well as Governors of Central Banks. They will be joined by producers, business leaders, private sector operators, academia, investment agencies and civil society organizations, as well as experts and development partners, to deliberate on innovative approaches to convert the tremendous potential of the sector into real opportunities.