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FAO Regional Office for Africa

Ending hunger in Africa requires scaling up efforts

FAO, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, Bukar Tijani, addressing representatives of the 30th Regional Conference for Africa in Khartoum. (Photo: ©FAO/Luis Tato)

20 February 2018, Khartoum, Sudan — The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation (FAO) has reiterated its commitment to support the regional bodies to end hunger by 2025.

Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, said: “The most recent estimates of undernourishment, presented in FAO’s 2017 Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition, showed good progress in reducing the prevalence of undernourishment until 2010. However, there has been little improvement since 2010 and the prevalence of undernourishment appears to have risen from about 21 percent to just under 23 between 2015 and 2016, while over the same period, the number of undernourished rose from 200 million to 224 million.”

Mr. Tijani, who was addressing the Senior Officers’ session of the 30th Regional Conference for Africa (ARC) in Khartoum, Sudan, noted that the goal of ending hunger can be achieved by scaling up joint efforts and fostering partnership towards resource mobilization, including through the promotion of South-South Cooperation. He added, “I can assure you that FAO is strongly committed to support the African Union (AU) Malabo Declaration and the commitment to end hunger by the year 2025’’.

He further encouraged all stakeholders across the region and beyond to work together to create more synergies, consolidate existing collaborations and forge new alliances for an inclusive growth and a shared prosperity in Africa, as envisioned by the AU Agenda 2063.

The conference, with the theme: “Sustainable development of agriculture and food systems in Africa: improving the means of production and the creation of decent and attractive employment for youth,” is an important forum for policy dialogue and debate on the future direction of food security and nutrition, agricultural transformation in Africa, and will set priorities for the regional governance of FAO actions in the 2018–2019 biennium.

The forum also provided an opportunity to review the progress on a set of recommendations made during the 29th session of the Regional Conference for Africa, held nearly two years ago in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The conference, which runs this week in Khartoum, will see the region’s stakeholders find ways of effectively leveraging youth employment opportunities in agriculture and rural sectors of their economies.

The discussions will also revolve around improving the business environment, providing young people with the right skills and education, and increasing their active participation in policy processes.

Mr. Tijani recalled that main recommendations of the last ARC fall within the five main areas: value chain development, youth employment and agrifood system development; promotion of sound institutional, policy and regulatory frameworks; disaster management/resilience building; resource mobilization from the Green Climate Fund (GCF); and Country Programming Frameworks (CPFs), which contribute to the achievement of FAO’s Strategic Objectives as well as the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its goals (SDGs) and the Malabo Declaration.

The 30th ARC, which runs from 19 to 23 February 2018, will provide the setting for stakeholders across the region and beyond to work together to create more synergies and complementarities, consolidate existing collaborations, and forge new alliances for an inclusive growth and a shared prosperity in Africa, as envisioned by the AU Agenda 2063.

About the Conference

The FAO Regional Conference for Africa is held once every two years, in the years in which the FAO general Conference does not meet in regular session. The attendance of the Regional Conference is usually at the Ministers of Agriculture level. Observers from countries outside the region, international, regional and Arab organizations, are also invited to the Conference.

The functions of the Regional Conference are to hold consultations at a high level, to indicate the special problems of the region and the priority areas, which should be taken into account in preparing the Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium, as well as in relation to longer term programme objectives of the organization to the needs of the Region. It also aims to undertake consultations on the means by which the countries of the region can solve their own problems through the use of their own resources; and on the volume and nature of the external aid required to implement their food and agricultural development plans.

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