FAO West Africa Multidisciplinary and Management Teams discuss ending hunger in the sub-region
11 June 2014, Akosombo/Ghana - The three-day seventh Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) West Africa Multi-disciplinary and Management Teams meeting opened on 10 June 2014, at the Volta Hotel Akosombo in Ghana, with a call by various partners to strategise and strengthen the partnerships for agricultural growth and ending hunger by 2025 in the sub-region.
Working towards ending hunger
The West African sub-region is home to over 320 million people representing 37.1 percent of the whole Sub-Saharan Africa population. About 72 to 93 percent of the population in more than half of the 15 countries in the sub-region are classified as low incomes using the Multidimensional Poverty Index.
The meeting, an annual FAO activity for West Africa, under the main theme of FAO Renewed Partnership for Sustainable Agricultural Development and Building Resilience in West Africa, has brought stakeholders together including FAO Representatives from the 15 countries in the sub-region, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), the Permanent InterState Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and non-State actors, to deliberate on progress made so far on FAO interventions and agree on priority areas for 2014.
In a speech read on his behalf by Dr. Kwame Amezah, Director of Agricultural Extension Services, Honourable Clement Kofi Humado, Ghana’s Minister for Food and Agriculture, noted that Ghana’s achievements in the agricultural front have not been without the support from FAO and its partners. “I am of the firm belief that our collaboration with FAO towards improving the agriculture sector productivity, fighting malnutrition and hunger will continue and deepen in the years ahead”, said Honourable Humado. “A productive agriculture sector can spar socio-economic development and take many of our deprived populations out of extreme poverty, and therefore has become a priority sector for us here in Ghana,” added Honourable Humado.
In West Africa, FAO is working closely with partner organizations on several initiatives towards ending hunger in the sub-region. These initiatives include, among others, the Global Alliance for Resilience in the Sahel and West Africa (AGIR), the ECOWAS Zero Hunger Initiative project, and the implementation of the declaration of Nouakchott on supporting pastoral communities in the Sahel.
In his welcome remarks to the participants, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, Mr. Bukar Tijani, pointed out that on 1 July 2013, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Heads of State and Government of African Union Member States, together with representatives of international organizations, civil society organizations, private sector, cooperatives, farmers, youths, academia and other partners unanimously adopted a Declaration to end hunger in Africa by 2025. This has implications for West Africa, home to more than a third of sub-Saharan Africa population, majority of whom are poor.
“We need to strategise to ensure that ending hunger by 2025 happens. At FAO we are partnering with several organizations including the African Union, ECOWAS and Non-state Actors to achieve this goal”, said Mr. Tijani.
Focus of the meeting
The meeting in Akosombo will serve as a platform for sharing success stories for up-scaling and learning from as well as challenges to address in future initiatives; setting priority areas of intervention for FAO and partners, based on the Country Programming Frameworks, the new FAO Strategic Objectives and the Regional Initiatives; and identification of modalities of implementation and technical support delivery to countries in West Africa.
Mr Fernando Salinas
West Africa Team Leader
FAO Regional Office for Africa
P.O. Box GP 1628