The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Assistant Director-General (ADG) and Regional Representative for Africa Abebe Haile-Gabriel is visiting Zimbabwe as the Subregional Office for Southern Africa holds its 16th annual multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting from 13 – 15 December 2022 in Harare. The ADG was welcomed by Patrice Talla, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa and Representative to Zimbabwe, the Agriculture Minister, Honourable Dr. Anxious Masuka and Edward Kallon, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
“I would like to welcome the ADG to the subregional office for southern Africa and to Zimbabwe ahead of our 16th MDT meeting which is anchored on effective partnerships. I would like to acknowledge the subregion’s appreciation of the financial and technical support that you provide which is here confirmed by your acceptance of our invitation in the midst of your busy schedule. We believe that the 16th MDT meeting scheduled for the next three days will be an opportunity for us to share with you our experiences as a subregion and also look forward to your contribution to this meeting,” said Patrice Talla in his welcome remarks to the ADG.
Represented by Honourable Minister Masuka, Zimbabwe has been Chairing FAO’s 31st Regional Conference for Africa (ARC31) since 2020, which was handed over to Equatorial Guinea in April this year during ARC32. Zimbabwe and FAO share a common vision and agenda in the transformation of agrifood systems as evidenced by the partnership and collaborative efforts in implementing programmes aimed at enhancing food and nutrition security in Zimbabwe.
“On behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe through my Ministry, I would like to welcome you to this beautiful country. The Government of Zimbabwe’s lens sees FAO as an institution that has a true reflection and representation of an Agency whose mandate fits within the country’s developmental agenda and vision. FAO’s mandate is fully aligned with the government’s National Development Strategy 1 and Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy,” added Honourable Masuka during a welcome briefing meeting at his Harare office.
The ADG’s visit comes at a time when the subregional office for southern Africa, which is coordinated from Zimbabwe, will be holding the annual 16th MDT meeting in Harare. During the MDT meeting, the ADG is expected have an appreciation of the subregional office’s progress on implementation of its programme priority areas vis-à-vis strategic planning for the year 2023. This year’s MDT meeting is being held under the theme, “effective partnerships for accelerated agrifood systems transformation in southern Africa.”
As part of his welcome, the ADG had the opportunity to meet with UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator. Extending the ADG a warm welcome to Zimbabwe, Edward Kallon underlined the critical role that FAO plays under the Zimbabwe UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (2022-2026) delivering on UN commitment to provide Policy and Programme support to the Government of Zimbabwe’s priorities in agricultural food systems, climate action, resilience building and natural resource management.
The ADG commented the efforts of the subregional office for Southern Africa. He reflected on the successes and challenges that the subregion is facing and how he looks forward to participating and learning in the MDT meeting.
“I am excited to be in Zimbabwe joining this dynamic team in person as you hold the 16th MDT meeting. The subregion has made significant strides to respond to global shocks and stresses. This meeting is indeed the platform to learn and share experiences of how you have been implementing your programme priority areas in response to the challenges,” concluded the ADG during the welcoming meeting with the FAO multidisciplinary team in southern Africa.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.