FAO Regional Office for Africa

Virtual Knowledge Share Fair for resilient agricultural livelihoods

CILSS, FAO and IGAD support sharing of good resilience practices in East and West Africa

©FAO, 2020

1 October 2020, Accra – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are organizing The Horn of Africa and Sahel Virtual Knowledge Share Fair: Promoting innovation to build resilience against climate shocks. The virtual event will be hosted online from 20 to 22 October 2020, with the support of the European Union.

The Share Fair brings together governments, non-governmental partners, civil society organizations, community representatives, the private sector, and development partners from East and West Africa. The Fair will showcase the best practices and lessons learned from the IGAD region and the Sahel on disaster preparedness and response.

“IGAD is privileged to co-host this year’s resilience Share Fair and to continue promoting knowledge exchange between the IGAD and Sahel regions,” said Workneh Gebeyehu, the Executive Secretary of IGAD. “The governments of our regions are committed to improving their preparedness and response to drought and other shocks, and the exchange of good practices and lessons will strengthen these endeavours,” he added.

“The Fair seeks to foster increased exchange and collaboration between resilience actors, governments, regional bodies, development partners and communities, equipping them to make evidence-based decisions in key thematic areas,” said Jean Senahoun, FAO Senior Economist for Africa.

“The commitment of CILSS and its experts' dexterity in producing information to build food security and climate change resilience constitute an invaluable resource to be shared during the knowledge Share Fair," said Djimé Adoum, the Executive Secretary of CILSS.

The Share Fair’s themes include disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, social protection, innovative support to agro-pastoralists and pastoralists, information and early warning systems and analysis, and natural resource-based conflicts.

Supporting inter-regional collaboration

The 2020 virtual Share Fair will build on IGAD, CILSS, and FAO's previous efforts to promote knowledge management for informed decision-making and investment in resilience building.

In 2013, IGAD and CILSS signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to formalize structured collaboration between the two regions’ efforts to promote resilience, good practices sharing, and uptake. FAO and other development partners support the implementation of the MoU.

FAO supported the two regions to host their first Share Fair in November 2013. The event was attended by 250 participants from CILSS, IGAD, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and other organizations who shared experiences around sustainable natural resource management and climate change, pastoralism, food and nutrition security, social protection, and other topics. The highlights of the event were published in the post-fair booklet.

The Horn of Africa and the Sahel have seen a sharp increase in the frequency and severity of disasters and emergencies. Climate change-related natural disasters and human-made crises have left communities and nations in a state of chronic vulnerability, now compounded by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seventy percent of the IGAD region comprises arid and semi-arid lands that receive less than 600mm in annual rainfall. The Sahel has seen protracted security crises in several states such as Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. These challenges have borne innovative approaches to building resilience and safeguarding the most vulnerable communities.

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