Thursday, November 28, 2013

African Union Holds High Level Meeting on Agriculture

AU holds high level meeting on agriculture

November 27, 2013

ADDIS ABABA – A two day high level meeting on Harnessing Innovation for African Agriculture and Food Systems is being held at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the theme “Meeting the challenges and designing for the 21st century”. The main objective of the meeting is to discuss recent models of success in African agricultural development and chart opportunities and challenges on the path ahead.

Involving more than 40 senior officials including Ministers of Agriculture from the African Union member states, business people, farmers and academics, the meeting is being co- hosted by AU Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and former UN Secretary General and Head of the Kofi Anan Foundation, Mr Kofi Anan.

Dr Dlamini Zuma emphasised the need to pay attention to whole production and supply chain in order to have a food secure Africa.

She also stressed the need for Africa to mainstream women and youth in all agricultural and agro business activities, ensuring they have access to skills development programmes, funding and inputs.

Mr Anan expounded on his vision for the continent saying it goes beyond having enough food to eat, but that Africa should become a major exporter of food.

Among others, the meeting aims to identify opportunities and build upon the strengths of African institutions including the AUC and NEPAD agency, as leaders of change and in the implementation of CAADP framework and other actions to strengthen national and regional food systems; Engage African agricultural leaders and experts in a focused discussion about their expectations for the Year of Agriculture and into the 21st century; elevate the voices of Africans, from the small holder farmer to Heads of State, to advocate for an improved framework for country level agricultural development, planning and implementation; further equip these voices to better articulate their priorities to promote alignment among donors, the private sector, G8/G20, millennium development goals and other global mechanisms and discuss ways to catalyse action by governments to implement agricultural development commitments, develop and scale up innovative mechanisms for progress as well as explore emerging challenges including demographic shifts, population growth, climate change and evolving dietary preferences.

The meeting’s outcomes will be useful to the January 2014 summit of the African Union whose theme will be “2014- Year of Agriculture and Food Security”.

– African Union Commission.

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