FAO Regional Office for Africa

Increasing knowledge, skills, and tools in nutrition to advance post ICN-2 Agenda

2nd FAO Africa Regional Nutrition Coordination and Programming Consultation held in Accra

From left: Anna Lartey, Director Nutrition; Jomo Sundaram, ADG ES-FAO HQ; Bukar Tijani ADG/RR-FAO Africa; John Ruediger, German Ambassador/Ghana and Mohamed Ag Bendech, Nutrition Officer for FAO-RAF.(Photo: ©FAO/Lambert Frimpong)

22 July, 2015, Accra – The FAO Regional Office for Africa has opened a three-day Regional Nutrition Coordination and Programming Consultation in Accra. The theme of the consultation:“Advancing Nutrition Sensitive Food Systems – Post ICN2 Agenda for Africa” is of a significant importance to FAO’s post ICN2 commitment of reducing all forms of malnutrition and eliminating undernourishment from Africa under the Rome Declaration and its Framework for Action and the UN Global Nutrition Agenda in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2nd Accra Consultation – after the first one in 2012 – convened FAO representatives and Nutrition Experts based in Rome and Africa with the main objective to improve the coordination of FAO’s nutrition interventions in particular mainstreaming nutrition into agriculture policies, programmes and investment plans as well as jointly reinforcing technical capacity in advancing nutrition sensitive programming through multi-sectoral strategies at country level.

The consultation will enhance the equipping of FAO nutrition officers and other relevant FAO stakeholders with key knowledge, skills, and tools to increase the quality of technical assistance  provided to governments and development partners in implementing key nutrition policies and programmes priorities enshrined in the ICN-2 framework for action, the CAADP Nutrition Initiative, the Malabo Declaration and its implementation strategy and roadmap and sub-regional nutrition programmes such as the ECOWAS Hunger Free Initiative.  

Building on Success Stories

“According to the first edition of the Regional Overview of Food Insecurity in Africa (2015) which we launched last month, seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have reached targets set by the UN Millennium Development Goals and the World Food Summit. Angola, Djibouti, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Mali and Sao Tome & Principe met both the relevant MDG 1c – that of halving the proportion of the population suffering from hunger – and the more stringent World Food Summit target of halving the absolute number of undernourished people”, said Mr. Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa.

“We will continue to provide them with technical assistance focusing on capacity building, knowledge sharing, facilitation of policy dialogue and innovative partnerships, developing and implementing agreements, codes of conduct, and technical standards towards achieving food for all and eradicating hunger and malnutrition in Africa by working with countries to link agriculture to nutrition, social protection and gender”, he emphasized.

FAO is optimizing the impact and visibility of Nutrition across the Africa region and seeks to improve on the coherence and coordination among regional, sub-regional, country and HQ nutrition officers’ support on the provision of technical assistance for advancing sustainable  and healthy food systems towards achieving overall nutritional well-being and hunger free Africa by 2025.  

The regional coordination consultation will also focus on the role FAO decentralized offices will play at national and regional level and how efforts are being made to effectively deliver competitive and innovative nutrition programs.

“As eight of the Sustainable Development Goals have nutrition-related elements, we need to have an integrated and comprehensive approach on nutrition and work in partnerships”, pointed out Jomo Sundaram, FAO Assistant Director-General and Coordinator for Economic and Social Development at FAO Headquarters.

On her part, the Director for the Nutrition Division at the FAO Headquarters, Anna Lartey, underlined: “This is the moment for nutrition in Africa; we have to take advantage of this regional consultation, deliver results, make an impact and influence policy and decision makers”. 


The consultation presented Nutrition Officers with key knowledge, tools and lessons learnt on priority areas relevant for nutrition (including social protection, gender, school nutrition and food safety).

As part of expected key recommendations towards  advancing the Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems Agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa, it was highlighted that healthy and sustainable food systems should play an important role in reducing both under and over-nutrition; agricultural and food systems must be designed to enhance availability and access to safe, nutritious and diverse food; efforts must be targeted at smallholders whose production often represents a significant part of the domestic consumption and mixed farming systems that are agro-ecologically friendly to our climate should be encouraged.

FAO’s food-based approaches to improving nutrition should provide sustainable solutions to hunger and malnutrition.

At institutional level, the participants called, among others, for supporting capacity development and knowledge sharing on multi-sectoral nutrition programming, prioritizing resource mobilization action plans  to support governments advance the Post ICN – 2 agenda and promote the visibility of FAO’s nutrition work in Sub-Saharan Africa and globally.

Strategic relationships are being reinforced with key regional and sub-regional economic commissions as well as international partners, in particular NEPAD, ECOWAS/WAHO, SADC, ECA/COMESA/ECSA, IGAD, SUN/REACH Secretariats, Global Nutrition Report Secretariat IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, WHO and donors including Germany, Spain, USAID, EU and DFID, at all levels.


Related links:





Nutrition in the SDGs/UNSCN



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