FAO Regional Office for Africa

FAO and ECA Partnership towards a hunger free and prosperous Africa

Ensuring the advancement of sustainable agricultural and agribusiness development in Africa

Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources and Abdalla Hamdok, UNECA Executive Secretary, at the MOU signing ceremony (Photo: @FAO/ Tamiru Legesse)

31 January 2017, Addis Ababa –  In an effort to alleviate the challenges that millions of African families face from abject poverty, malnutrition and food insecurity, FAO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) signed a new partnership agreement that paves the way for a stronger cooperation in fostering sustainable agriculture.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Abdalla Hamdok, UNECA Executive Secretary and Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources, at the UNECA Headquarters. This would provide the two parties with the framework to collaborate primarily on food and nutrition security, regional integration and trade, development of strategies for policy assistance, statistics development; regional consultative mechanism (RCM); population dynamics and urban-rural linkages and governance.

"This MOU establishes a broad framework for strategic collaboration and is particularly timely in light of the Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa's Agenda 2063", declared Semedo.

On his part, Hamdok stated that the MoU will allow the ECA and the FAO to look into challenges facing the agricultural sector on the continent, including the need to stop the exportation of raw commodities from Africa, the need to add value, update technology to increase yields, financing and other issues. “The MOU is very timely and relevant. The broad framework will allow us to identify areas of cooperation and we are looking forward to working together in that regard”, he said.

The partnership agreement lays a strong foundation towards realizing the shared visions FAO and UNECA have been upholding for many years to ensure a prosperous Africa free from hunger.

An existing fruitful cooperation

FAO and UNECA have successfully implemented various programmes such as:  Championing Policy Focus for a Globally Significant African Agriculture; Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural statistics;; and the establishment of a monitoring system for food market prices in African Member States.

The partnership will contribute to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 2 and SDG 11, which focus on ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, promoting sustainable agriculture; as well as improving resilience, food systems and urbanization.



FAO is the leading organization within the United Nations System in the field of food and agriculture, and works towards the achievement of its Vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition where food and agriculture contribute to improving the living standards of all, especially the poorest, in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner;

UNECA, one of the United Nations’ five regional commissions and the regional development arm of the United Nations in Africa, has a mandate to promote economic and social development by fostering international cooperation among its Member States, while also focusing on supporting Member States in achieving internationally agreed development goals, gender equality and promoting regional sustainable development by helping to bridge economic, social and environmental gaps among Member States.

FAO and ECA share common goals and objectives and recognize the importance of undertaking concerted and coordinated programmes to further these common goals and objectives, based on the reciprocal recognition of each Party’s role and responsibilities.