The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations QU Dongyu says Africa’s potential gives him trust that the fight against destitution and craving can be won. He offered the comments at the kickoff of the Ministerial fragment of the 31st Session of the Regional Conference for Africa.
“We meet in trying times, but the opportunities ahead of us give me hope,” Director-General Qu said. “Africa is the continent of untapped potential and remains a key priority for me. I am convinced that agricultural and rural development are the keys to winning the battle against poverty and hunger in Africa.”
Facilitated as a virtual function by the Government of Zimbabwe and as a team with FAO, the Conference unites more than 95 Ministers and government authorities from 48 nations – a record participation. Delegates from eyewitness nations, giver associations, common society and the private area are likewise joining in, making it FAO’s biggest gathering in Africa.
“This year’s FAO Regional Conference for Africa is a unique multi-sectoral platform,” President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa said in his initial location. Zimbabwe is the Conference Chair, taking over from Sudan. “We must share experiences and proffer solutions to common problems affecting the African region… The elimination of hunger in Africa and the response to the different structural challenges we face as a continent require strong partnerships, collaboration and commitment among the various stakeholders,” he said.
Arrangements in troublesome occasions
The Conference comes in the midst of rising yearning in Africa, driven by environmental change, strife and monetary lulls. The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding existing food weakness.
In the midst of a few difficulties, the Director-General referenced solid instances of associations among FAO, Members and benefactor accomplices, for example, the Global Action for Fall Armyworm Control to guarantee a solid composed methodology at nation, territorial and worldwide levels just as the great advancement in the control of the desert insects.
“In East Africa, the anticipatory action approach was quite successful with national Governments in collaboration with FAO and partners, protecting over 580 million USD worth of crops, enough to meet the annual cereal needs of 13 million people,” Qu said.
The Director-General likewise highlighted sexual orientation fairness as a feature of the arrangement. “We must give equal opportunities and rights to rural women,” he said. He additionally set out Africa’s occasions to change its agri-food frameworks, including new openings originating from developing food advertises, the landmass’ developing metropolitan working class, and the quick selection of advanced advances especially by Africa’s youngsters.
He repeated FAO’s plan of extraordinary activity to manufacture a dynamic, comprehensive and coordinated Organization that serves its Members to accomplish the “four betters”: better creation, better nourishment, a superior climate, and a superior life.
The Director-General recognized African initiative for having organized the plan of horticulture improvement through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) and the 2014 Malabo Declaration on Agriculture Transformation, and demonstrated his thankfulness for the commitment of Members to the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund at FAO.
He welcomed nation designations to choose areas to partake in FAO’s new 1 000 Digital Villages Project which will change over towns or towns into computerized center points, perceiving that advanced linkages and country the travel industry could be motors to expand flexibility, enhance ranchers’ earnings and work back better.
“This is your conference – the regional Governing Body session. My colleagues and I will be listening closely,” Director-General Qu said.
He welcomed the appointments to share the needs they wish to see remembered for the new FAO Strategic Framework that is under arrangement, just as their desires for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, and urged nations to recognize and energize behind local heroes ahead of the pack ready.
The Director-General likewise implied the public needs for the change of agri-food frameworks and the solid political duties of accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG2 and SDG1 at nation level.
Coronavirus 19 Pandemic
FAO has been supporting governments across Africa in doing prescient examination for the possible optional effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food frameworks, markets and horticulture. It is assessed that 12 million individuals over the mainland have so far profited by this exertion.
For FAO to keep on doing its activities to address the pandemic in an all encompassing and thorough way, the Director-General focused on the significance of the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Program, which plans to alleviate prompt effects, while fortifying the drawn out versatility of food frameworks and jobs – in accordance with the United Nations way to deal with “build to transform” and in quest for the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Program is likewise firmly connected to the Hand-in-Hand Initiative, FAO’s new plan of action for joint effort that utilizes a wide range of associations and use the specialized and information limit of the Organization to decide the most ideal choices to come to the most defenseless and have the best effect on neediness and appetite.
We are in this together
Imprint Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, called for activity on a few fronts: completely reserve all helpful reaction plans, put resources into debacle hazard decrease, and pull together multilateral participation to address the underlying drivers of craving. “All of this is achievable if we agree to work together, with an understanding that it is in all of our shared interests to do so. We really are all in this together,” he said.
Speaking to the private area, Lucy Muchocki from the Pan African Agribusiness and Agroindustry Consortium, stated: “We want to commend the efforts of FAO in engaging the private sector to address some of the most important issues in agriculture and trade in Africa. We hope Dialogues of this sort become regular events, as we must maintain momentum to develop practical and action-oriented solutions that require collective efforts.”
Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission complimented the solid coordinated effort with FAO to lead a multi-partner reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, including building up a joint taskforce.
Different speakers at the initial meeting included Khalid Mehboob, the Independent Chairperson of FAO’s Council and Thanawat Tiensin, Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security.
A noteworthy Regional Conference
The Conference is facilitated a virtual unexpectedly on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The methodology has permitted more individuals to associate, making it the biggest ever Regional Conference for Africa. Several representatives have joined the Zoom meetings, and a lot more were watching the live webcast.
Different meetings have zeroed in on the pandemic’s effects on food security and sustenance, and FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative. The Conference finished on Wednesday 28th of October.
By Modou Kanteh, Information Officer MoA
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