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The FAO Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa (SFE) is a technical hub which supports 8 countries in Eastern Africa and has a core team of professionals with multi-disciplinary expertise. It is responsible for developing, promoting, overseeing and implementing agreed strategies for addressing sub-regional food security, nutrition, agriculture and rural development priorities.

The office also plays a very important liaison role to the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa as well as to a large number of important development partners based in Ethiopia and the sub-region.

FAO Subregional Office for Eastern Africa

The FAO Conference, at its 33rd Session held in Rome, 19- 26 November 2005, approved further decentralization within the framework of the reform agenda. The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia-FAO Agreement to establish the Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa (SFE) in Addis Ababa was signed on 31 January 2007 and the office established in February 2007.

FAO Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa covers eight countries: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda, with a total population of about 220 million in 2013. Some of the countries are among the fastest developing countries in Africa.

The focus of FAO programme in Ethiopia is to support:

  • improved food and nutrition security with aim of hunger eradication;
  • reduction of poverty through livelihood diversification and promotion of rural employment especially youth and women;
  • increased production and productivity under sustainable management of natural resources;
  • contribution to agricultural growth and development focusing on small scale production transformation and commercialisation;
  • and resilience building for the vulnerable communities and people.

The importance of Agriculture in Eastern Africa cannot be underestimated. FAO plays a key role in the development of the Agricultural sector. Key related priorities include land policy, food safety, fisheries and aquaculture, resilience, forestry, natural resource management, climate change and livestock as indicated in SFE Country Programming Frameworks (CPFs). 

Following FAO new strategic framework and its regional initiatives, the FAO Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa focusses activities to strengthen “Partnerships for Addressing Food Insecurity in Eastern Africa”. In this regard, key interventions in 2014 have been articulated around the commitment made at the High Level Meeting (HLM) of African and International Leaders, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2013, under the theme “Towards African Renaissance: Renewed Partnership for a Unified Approach to End Hunger in Africa by 2025 under the framework of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme”. This was followed by the African Union declaring 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa while the United Nations has declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming.