FAO Regional Office for Africa

Stakeholders in food and agriculture sectors chart new path for Africa

30th Regional Conference for Africa opens in Sudan

Photo: ©FAO/Luis Tato

19 February 2018, Khartoum, Sudan—The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 30th Regional Conference for Africa (ARC) began today in Khartoum, Sudan, to chart a new path for agricultural development, food and nutrition security on the continent for the next two years.

The five-day 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"  aims to  examine the state of food and agriculture in Africa, as well as the future prospects and emerging issues within the sector.

The conference will also discuss climate change and its impact on the work and activities of FAO, and building resilience to address extreme vulnerability of Africa’s agriculture and rural livelihoods.

FAO senior officers, ministers and other high-level delegates from FAO Member States, partners, representatives of the civil society, and the media will be present at the conference, and they will delve on issues including leveraging youth employment opportunities in agriculture and rural sectors in Africa, as well as mainstreaming biodiversity across agriculture, fisheries and forestry.

The outcomes of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and follow-up actions at regional and country level, initiatives on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with discussion on the case of Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS would be elaborated.

The 30th ARC begins with the Senior Officers’ Meeting from 19 to 21 February 2018, where regional and global policy and regulatory matters are set to be discussed. This will be followed by a Ministerial Plenary Session on 22 and 23 February.  FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva will open the Ministerial Session.

There will also be thematic side events on 21 February 2018, with discussions ranging from the FAO strategic programmes to the renewal of commitment to the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund (ASTF), response to the Lake Chad crisis, and migration and rural development.

The Ministerial Round Tables will run from 22 to 23 February 2018, and will address the SDG 2030 Agenda, Zero Hunger, the 40th anniversary of the FAO country representations, as well as the synthesis of main findings and recommendations of the conference.

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.