9 December 2002, Rome/Abuja
-- African leaders will seek better ways to spearhead
regional food security programmes at a high-level meeting in
Abuja (11-12 December 2002).
to President Obasanjo of Nigeria, eight Heads of State or their
representatives are invited to the Abuja meeting in their
quality of chairpersons of Africa's Regional Economic
Organizations. Presidents Gheddafi (Lybia), Bouteflika
(Algeria), Wade (Senegal), Nguesso (Congo-Brazzaville), Patasse
(Central African Republic), Zenawi (Ethiopia), Muluzi (Malawi)
and Bashir (Sudan) are expected in the Nigerian capital.
Dr Omar Kabbaj, President of the African
Development Bank (ADB), Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of
the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Prof. Wiseman
Nkuhlu, Chairperson of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (NEPAD) Steering Committee, and high-ranking
officials from African Regional Economic Organizations,
representatives of Farmers Associations and multi-bilateral
development and financial agencies will participate in the
meeting which is jointly organized by the NEPAD steering
committee, ADB and FAO.
Ways and means to
harmonize the activities of the regional economic organizations
with the NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development
Programme (CAADP) are on top of the agenda. Discussions will
focus on the role of the regional economic organizations and how
to secure their commitment to agriculture, particularly in
agricultural trade facilitation, food safety measures to protect
the consumers in the Continent and to promote agricultural
trade, and regional support to national food security and
agricultural development efforts.
Participants will also discuss cooperation between
regional and international financial institutions in support of
increased investments in agricultural and rural development.
The Abuja meeting is expected to offer a
high-level forum to discuss fruitful partnerships amongst the
regional/subregional bodies in Africa. It will enhance
coordination of initiatives and programmes related to
agriculture and food security and facilitate immediate action
for addressing the challenges facing Africa. In brief, the
meeting will pave the way for improved cooperation between
regional economic organizations, NEPAD, ADB, other development
partners and individual countries, according to FAO.
The NEPAD Comprehensive Africa
Agriculture Development Programme
Prepared by NEPAD with the participation of
stakeholders in the Continent and the technical support of FAO,
the CAADP was adopted by African Ministers of Agriculture and
endorsed by the Implementation Committee of NEPAD alongside the
World Food Summit: five years later (10-13 June 2002), the CAADP
focuses on three priority areas where increased investments
would help improve Africa's agriculture, food security and
July 2001 at the OAU Summit in Lusaka, NEPAD provides an African
led framework for action aimed at responding to the aspiration
of the African people for a better future, with adequate food
for a healthy life.
About 200 million
people in Africa are chronically hungry and nearly 30 million
require emergency food and agricultural assistance in any one
year. Africa has become the largest single recipient of food
aid; it has also reversed from being a key exporter of
agricultural commodities into being a net importer.
Chief of Policy Coordinating Service, FAO
FAO Regional Office
representative in Nigeria