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Agriculture Business

African Nations To Define Regional Agrifood Systems Priorities At ARC32

African countries to define regional agrifood systems priorities

 

BY ONWORDI MOSES CHIAZOR

More than 50 African countries will come together at the 32nd Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Regional Conference for Africa (ARC32) to define regional priorities in agrifood systems transformation.

The meeting comes as 250 million people in Africa do not have enough food to eat each day, close to a billion people in Africa cannot afford nutritious food, and countries continue to grapple with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participating countries will share best practices and explore partnerships and opportunities for innovation and digital technologies to transform agri-food systems, address food insecurity and climate change, and face other major challenges in the region.

The Regional Conference is FAO’s highest governing body in Africa. ARC32 is hosted by the Government of Equatorial Guinea. The four-day conference, scheduled from 11 to 14 April, will be held as a hybrid event, both at the Sipopo Conference Centre in Malabo and online with participants joining via videoconferencing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Agriculture ministers and other government officials from across Africa will join civil society groups, private sector representatives, development partners and observer member countries for the conference.
A spotlight on FAO’s Four Betters

FAO’s Strategic Framework 2022-2031 will underpin the conference. It aims to help countries achieve better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind.

The opening session of ARC32 will include remarks by:

  • Director-General QU Dongyu, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Her Excellency Ambassador Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission,
  • Her Excellency Francisca Eneme Efua, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forests and Environment of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and Chairperson of ARC32
  • His Excellency Anxious Jongwe Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement of Zimbabwe and Chairperson of ARC31
  • Ambassador Hans Hoogeveen, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN Organizations in Rome, and Independent Chairperson of the FAO Council
  • Ambassador at Large for Global Food Security Gabriel Ferrero, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, and Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)
  • A spokesperson for civil society organizations (tbc)
  • A spokesperson for the private sector (tbc)


The Conference will also host a series of ministerial roundtables on the following issues:

  • Experience sharing on better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind
  • COVID-19 impacts on agri-food systems in Africa: policy priorities for inclusive and resilient recovery
  • Investing in ecosystem restoration for a more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems transformation in Africa
  • Promotion of investment and trade for competitive agri-food systems: AfCFTA opportunities and progress
  • Placing women, youth and the poor at the forefront of inclusive agrifood systems

Two launches will take place during the conference:

  • The launch of the Africa Regional Technical Platform (RTP) on Common Agricultural Policies and Practices
  • The launch with the African Union Commission of Investment Guidelines for Youth in Agrifood Systems in Africa

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