Cairo, Egypt, 4-8 February 2002



4-6 February 2002


1.    Opening of the Technical Committee

2.    Election of the Technical Committee Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and Appointment of the Rapporteur

3.    Adoption of the Technical Committee Agenda and Timetable


4.    FAO support to "The New Partnership for Africa's Development": Land and Water Resources Issues and Agricultural Development

The World Food Summit held in 1996, urged Member Nations to pursue poverty eradication through equitable access to productive resources, including land, water and credit. They were also to pursue sound land reform policies that permit the rural population to earn a fair return and encourage sustainable development, use and management of water and other natural resources. In the ensuing process of political, economic and social restructuring that most African countries have undergone in the past two decades, land has become, and has remained one of the most hotly debated issues. Land tenure, land administration and land use interventions in support of increased food security and poverty reduction should therefore be discussed and developed, as appropriate, in the context of agricultural development in Africa.

In addition, water in Africa is fast becoming a scarce resource, due mainly to negative changes in overall environmental conditions. It is also important to discuss policy issues relating to water development, use and management in order to contribute to the common effort to improve food security and reduce poverty. To this end, it is imperative to examine the technical, economic, social, legal and institutional issues that have a bearing on land and water development, use and management in order to provide pertinent data and information which could assist policymakers elaborate sound land and water policies.

5.    HIV/AIDS and Agriculture and Food Security in Mainland and Small Island Countries of Africa

Formerly believed to be mainly an urban problem, HIV/AIDS now threatens the lives and livelihood of millions of rural dwellers throughout the developing world, as prevalence rates seem to rise faster among rural populations. The epidemic mainly affects adult age groups and economic sectors such as agriculture, transportation and mining. It has taken a heavy toll on the agricultural labour force, with 7 million agricultural workers already dead in sub-Saharan Africa and at least 20 million more that could disappear before 2020. In addition to decimating the agricultural labour force, AIDS also undermines agricultural productivity because families tend to sell productive assets to take care of the sick and to pay for funerals, thereby compromising the possibility of long-term development. As a result, AIDS poses a threat both to food security and rural development. Far from being only a health issue, it is a development problem in which all actors should be actively involved and it should therefore be addressed by Ministries of Agriculture/Rural Development.


6.    Fisheries Development in the Third Millennium: Challenges and Opportunities

The 21st Regional Conference for Africa recognised the socio-economic importance of fisheries and aquaculture and their contribution to food security. However, their development was hindered by inadequate public and private sector investments, inefficient research/extension and ineffective policies (paragraph 47, page 10). Accordingly, the Conference recommended that policies should be put in place to address vital concerns of extension, research and maintenance of infrastructure, including disinvestment of redundant facilities/services, while encouraging private investment (paragraph 39, page vii). It was advocated that FAO should assist governments in formulating effective policies, streamlining public sector support and fostering increased production.

In the Third Millennium, the challenge facing African countries is how to elaborate the necessary policies and facilitate institutional changes to revitalise the sub-sector while allowing it to function effectively in the face of reduced government support and evolving macro-economic priorities. The positive political and economic changes taking place in some countries in the region offer the opportunity for governments to be pro-active in the implementation of needed transformations and provide constructive models for the Region.

7.    FAO Gender and Development Plan of Action (2002-2007): Regional Implementation

As part of the implementation of the recommendations and Plans of Action adopted by the Third (Nairobi 1985) and the Fourth (Beijing 1995) World Conferences on Women, the FAO Conference endorsed the first and second Plan of Action on Women in Development respectively in 1989 and in 1995, each for a period of 3 biennia. At its 30th Session, the Conference requested FAO to prepare a new Gender and Development Plan of Action for the period 2002-2007. Its purpose is to improve FAO's capacity to assist Member Countries in achieving equitable and sustainable agricultural and rural development by mainstreaming gender issues into the Organization's Normative and Operational activities. Since this is a corporate medium-term plan, the 2002 Regional Conference would be the most appropriate forum to solicit contributions from Member Countries on the regional implementation of the Plan, especially in key activities such as the SPFS, Agricultural Statistical Census and others.

8.    Sustainable Rural Development and Food Security: The role of Mountain Development in Africa

The UN General Assembly has designated 2002 as the "International Year of Mountains" (IYM) to increase international awareness of the global importance of mountain ecosystems. This should present both a big challenge and a great opportunity for African countries to place the development of mountains high on their national agenda and take concrete actions that will ensure adequate political, institutional and financial commitment for sustainable mountain development. African countries should take full advantage of the rare coincidence that: the IYM, for which FAO has been assigned as the lead agency within the UN System, falls in 2002; that FAO will hold a Regional Conference for Africa in 2002; and also that, for the first time, Africa has been chosen as the venue for the 2002 Earth Summit, during which the impact of Agenda 21, of which Sustainable Mountain Development forms the 13th Chapter, will be assessed. The 22nd ARC therefore presents an ideal forum for Africa to examine a broad range of issues related to mountain development, with a view to improving the general development and food security situation of the millions of people who live in the mountains and highland areas of Africa.

9.    Programme Against African Trypanosomiasis (PAAT)

In order to respond to the need to achieve concerted efforts among the different agencies in the fight against tsetse and trypanosomiasis (T&T) in people as well as livestock in Africa, the Programme Against African Trypanosomiasis (PAAT) was endorsed in November 1997 by the FAO Conference.

The Programme seeks to combine the forces of FAO, WHO, IAEA and OAU/IBAR in order to ensure an harmonious, sustainable approach towards improved human health and sustainable socio-economic and agricultural development of tsetse-infested areas; promote and co-ordinate international alliances and efforts assisting in harmonised interventions and; achieve integrated trypanosomiasis control in Africa.

Through its activities, PAAT seeks to depict the policy framework, strategies and pest management principles encompassing socio-economic factors of the impact of trypanosomiasis on African agriculture and the environment.

10.    WAICENT Presentation


11.    Any Other Business


12.    Adoption of the Report of the Technical Committee

13.    Closure of the Technical Committee Meeting



7-8 February 2002


1.    Inaugural Ceremony

2.    Election of Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Appointment of the Rapporteur

3.    Adoption of the Agenda and Timetable


4.    Statement by the Director-General

5.    Report on FAO Activities in the Region (2000-2001)


6.    Preparation for the World Food Summit: Five Years Later - Regional Dimensions

7.    FAO Support to "The New Partnership for Africa's Development": Land and Water Resources Issues and Agricultural Development

8.    Report of the Technical Committee


9.    Any Other Business


10.    Date and Place of the 23rd FAO Regional Conference for Africa

11.    Adoption of the Report (including the Technical Committee Report)

12.    Closure of the Conference