FAO Regional Office for Africa

Civil society consultation begins ahead of Regional Conference for Africa (ARC33)

CSOs meet in Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco, 21-22 February


21 February 2024, Casablanca -  Civil society organizations (CSOs) and producers organizations from across Africa are meeting in Casablanca from today for a two-day consultation ahead of the 33rd Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa (ARC33, 18-20 April). The consultation is hosted by the Moroccan Union of Agriculture (Union Marocaine de l'Agriculture or UMA) on behalf of the regional civil society steering committee.  It brought together more than 40 participants from organisations that represent smallholder/ family farmers, fishers, herders/ pastoralists, youth and women, indigenous peoples,  and others linked to agricultural sectors.

Civil society organisations are key partners in meeting the challenges facing the African continent such as rural development, food security and the fight against hunger and poverty. The consultation will combine in-person deliberations and virtual interactions to encourage inclusive dialogue which is a crucial step towards strengthening the voice of African civil society in policy discussions.

Participants will review the agenda of the upcoming Regional Conference and prepare positions on specific items and key issues relevant to the region. Participants will also nominate three spokesperson  to intervene at ARC33, and develop a civil society declaration to be read by one of the spokesperson at the Regional Conference.

Bringing voices together for ARC33

ARC33 will be held in Rabat from 18 to 20 April 2024, hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco and in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests of Morocco.

The Regional Conference is the highest governing body of FAO in Africa and will be attended by Ministers of Agriculture and other key portfolios related to the transformation of agrifood systems, covering areas such as finance, trade and industry, forestry, fisheries, environment, science and technology, and health. 

The discussions will focus on the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031, which is a roadmap to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by ending poverty, eradicating hunger and reducing inequality, through a transformation towards more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind.