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Ambassadors at FAO discuss Africa's priorities

Thu, 02 Jul 2020 15:02 - Updated Thu, 02 Jul 2020 15:11

Rome - The "Key Priority Group" of African ambassadors and representatives at FAO Thursday in Rome defended the inclusion of more personnel from the continent in the UN organisation's regional offices, with a view to their valorisation and expertise upgrading.

Chaired by Angolan ambassador Maria de Fátima Jardim, the forum was created in June this year to support and recommend to the African Group at FAO the continent’s priorities concerning political strategies and programmes towards agriculture and food security.

“Africa’s challenges are enormous, so the present moment must be of convergence of response, sharing of ideas and common priorities, seeking to turn agriculture and food security into a challenge so that our countries can produce food accessible to their citizens,” said the Angolan ambassador.

Therefore, at its first meeting, the group defended a wider inclusion of African technicians and officials in the structures of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation as way for Africa to raise its voice louder in a near future.

The African representatives at FAO recommended a change to the forms of access and opportunities within the organisation, with a view to a more active role and relevance on matters concerning the African Agenda and projects contained in local programmes and national priorities.

As to Covid-19, the ambassadors considered crucial a stronger resilience in the food systems, seeking the mitigation of the effects of the pandemic, as  well as the participation in FAO regional conference on Africa scheduled for 14-18 September in Zimbabwe.

Comprising Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal and Zimbabwe, the group also discussed matters concerning the forthcoming food systems summit, stressing the need for Africa’s active participation in the event, with recommendations from its various sub-regions.