Actions will require more political will and investments for food security and nutrition
1-2 March 2016, Accra - A two-day strategic workshop on FAO’s contribution to Africa’s 2025 Zero Hunger Challenge held in Accra, Ghana, expressed determination to strengthen partnerships and support regional institutions and member countries in accomplishing the commitment to end hunger by 2025.
FAO Country Offices and partners from Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Niger, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa and delegates from African Union Commission, NEPAD/NPCA and Instituto Lula discussed ways to prioritize actions for enhanced investment and determine the required interventions to improve service delivery.
“Africa’s 2025 Zero Hunger Challenge will require significant increase of budget allocations, concrete and appropriate policies, programmes and strategies coupled with strong political commitment and leadership”, Mr. Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, told the participants.
He also explained that the Zero Hunger Challenge combines traditional anti-hunger and nutrition interventions which focused on increasing diversified agricultural production and sustainable diets with innovative mechanisms in the field of social protection.
Contributing to the dialogue by skype from Rome, Mr. Kostas Stamoulis, FAO Assistant Director-General for Economics and Social Affairs Department, reminded that the commitment to end hunger in Africa by 2025 stands as one of the central tenets of the Malabo Declaration which focuses on accelerated agricultural growth, halving of current levels of post-harvest losses and improved nutritional status, among other things.
He indicated that greater emphasis need to be placed on translating political commitments into concrete policies and programmes, evidence-based and inclusive governance mechanisms, accountable and results-focused programme delivery and a gender-sensitive approach.
FAO has concretely enhanced its assistance to four initial focus countries: Angola, Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger, to design and deliver value-added actions in support of their efforts to end hunger. Actions has focused on strategic partnerships with respect to investment, nutrition and social protection at country level, through South-South Cooperation (SSC) and other forms of collaboration between countries, regional institutions and RECs, UN agencies and other development partners such as the Civil Society, the private sector and the donor community.
This year, the assistance is extended to Chad, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda to support current governments’ efforts to eradicate food insecurity. Political will and governance for an inclusive growth and shared prosperity in Africa will be on the agenda of the 29th session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, (4 to 8 April 2016).
The 23rd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 26-27 June 2014, adopted the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods. As part of the recent commitments, the AU Heads of State and Government committed to ending hunger by 2025 and to achieve this, they further resolved to at least halve the current levels of post-harvest losses by the year 2025.
One of the seven commitments that were adopted, “Ending Hunger in Africa by 2025”, grew out of the Renewed Partnership to End Hunger in Africa by 2025 initiative, involving the African Union Commission, its NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA), the Instituto Lula and FAO, among other partners.
With a focused set of actions at national, sub-regional and continental levels, the investments and commitment FAO and partners make to ending hunger on the continent are critical prerequisites to achieving the African vision articulated in the Agenda 2063.