Shaping the future of agrifood systems in Africa – major regional conference opens next week

Shaping the future of agrifood systems in Africa – major regional conference opens next week

Shaping the future of agrifood systems in Africa – major regional conference opens next week

Shaping the future of agrifood systems in Africa – major regional conference opens next week

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will bring together  African member countries to deliberate on the future of Africa’s agrifood systems at the 33rd Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa (ARC33), hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco in Rabat on 18-20 April. In the spotlight will be the urgent need to transform agrifood systems to be more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable in order to meet the needs of a growing population, address the challenges of the climate crisis and end hunger and malnutrition.  

The conference is one of the major regional forums on agriculture, food security and nutrition. It comes as hunger continues to grow in Africa, driven largely by conflicts, economic downturns and the impacts of the climate crisis such as the El Nino-induced drought in southern Africa.   

Agriculture ministers and other government officials from across Africa will join with civil society groups, private sector representatives, development partners and observer member countries for the conference. The ministerial meeting will be held at the Hotel Sofitel Rabat and livestreamed around the world.

Delegates will exchange experiences, hear from experts and formulate regional recommendations to bring to the global FAO Council that shapes the direction of the organization and its work under the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031 for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind. These Four Betters frame the conference agenda.

High-level participants

The opening ceremony, on Thursday 18 April, will feature distinguished speakers including:

  • H.E. Aziz Akhannouch, Head of Government of the Kingdom of Morocco;
  • Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General;  
  • H.E. Ambassador Josefa Sacko, African Union  Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment;
  • H.E. Mohammed Sadiki, Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, and Water and Forests of the Kingdom of Morocco and ARC33 Chairperson;
  • H.E. José Juan Ndong Tomo, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Rural Development of Equatorial Guinea, and ARC32 Chairperson;
  • Ambassador Hans Hoogeveen, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN Organizations in Rome and Independent Chairperson of the FAO Council;
  • Ambassador Nosipho Nausca-Jean Jezile, Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS);
  • Ms. Elizabeth Mpofu, President and Founder of the Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZIMSOFF) who has been nominated as a representative of civil society organizations; and
  • Ms. Tenemba Anna Samaké, Executive Committee Member of Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh) who has been nominated as a representative of the private sector.

Four Betters in focus

The conference will also feature ministerial roundtables on critical issues including:

  • a special host country event on investing in resilience for sustainable food security:
  • drivers and triggers of agrifood systems transformation in Africa;
  • Blue Transformation in Africa: the potential of aquatic foods;
  • inclusive rural transformation in Africa: agriculture mechanization, digitalization, women and youth;
  • agrifood systems transformation in Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries;
  • the Livestock Development Strategy in Africa;
  • financing resilient agrifood systems and inclusive rural transformation: boosting public and private sector investment;
  • a Members’ experience-sharing special event on the Four Betters; and
  • a special event on FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative with Members and investment partners

A Ministerial Declaration will close the conference on the last day.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.