FAO Regional Office for Africa

FAO Director-General and President of Senegal discuss better nutrition, digital innovation and African Union collaboration

© FAO

18 April 2022, Dakar – FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu and President of Senegal Macky Sall met at the presidential palace in Dakar on Sunday for a bilateral meeting focusing on FAO’s collaboration with Senegal and the African Union. The two discussed mutual ambitions to leverage science, innovation, information, communication, technology, and partnerships to transform Senegal’s agricultural sector in order to achieve better nutrition and improve livelihoods.

Qu Dongyu arrived in Senegal for a brief visit after attending the 32nd Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa in Equatorial Guinea. It is the Director-General’s first visit to Africa since taking office. President Sall is the current Chairperson of the African Union.  

During the meeting, the Director-General and President Sall discussed the need to improve access to nutritious foods in Africa, where close to a billion people currently cannot afford a nutritious diet.

Better nutrition is one of the Four Betters in the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31, along with better production, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind. At the same time, the African Union has declared 2022 the year of 'Building resilience in nutrition on the African continent: Accelerate the human capital, social and economic development’.

Both leaders agreed that agrifood systems transformation is an urgent priority to boost nutrition in Africa, and  the need to improve production and increase resilience.

Qu highlighted that the African Union’s current focus on nutrition can be an important driver towards agrifood systems transformation.

President Sall thanked the Director-General for the good collaboration with FAO towards agrifood systems transformation in Senegal, and accelerated delivery of the African Union’s Malabo commitments.

The Director-General also met with senior government officials to further the collaboration between FAO and Senegal, where FAO has established the Sub-regional Office for West Africa. 

The Director-General affirmed FAO’s commitment to continue to support Senegal in its efforts in achieving agrifood systems transformation.

Earlier in the day, the Director-General interacted with local farmers who are part of FAO’s 1,000 Digital Villages initiative, which aims to put digitalization at the core of rural development.

The Director-General also reaffirmed support to Senegal in digital technologies and expanding the digital villages initiative in the country.