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FAO and UNECA step up cooperation

FAO Director-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa sign an agreement to boost African agricultural development

FAO Director-General and the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

27 June 2014, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea- FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Carlos Lopes, today signed an agreement to boost African agricultural development.

“I am delighted to sign this agreement with UNECA and long standing friend Carlos Lopes,” the FAO Director-General said. “We are opening a new era of cooperation and, together, we will explore new areas for boosting African development. This partnership will allow us to respond better to the African Union’s needs in the future.”

Established in 1958, UNECA is one of five regional commissions and has 53 African nation member states.

Lopes said UNECA had signed the agreement in order to reinforce its existing partnership with FAO.  

“We want to expand collaboration to new areas and are looking forward to the technological capacity that FAO has to offer, not only in statistics but also in sectoral responsibilities, as we embark on a much more African agenda on the transformation of agriculture and forestry, among others.”

Lopes explained that UNECA is already working with the African Union in setting a structure of measurements for the different frameworks that have been approved by the heads of state in the last decade. “This will take shape in the form of African development goals,” he noted,“and FAO’s assistance through the provision of statistics will  be very important for this measurement process. It’s a macro dimension that goes beyond what FAO normally does and is made possible through this new agreement,” he added.