Africa Mobilizes Common Position for the upcoming UNFSS

26Jul 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Africa Mobilizes Common Position for the upcoming UNFSS

An extraordinary meeting of the AU Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture,
Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARDWE), comprising ministers in charge of the
relevant offices in the member states was held on Thursdays, July 15, 2021.

To deliberate and validate a draft common position of Africa for the forthcoming United Nations Food System Summit (UNFSS) scheduled for September 2021.

The UNFSS is aimed at galvanizing and pushing the world to take action to transform the world’s food systems as part of the Decade of Action to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The Summit will therefore bring together various stakeholders from the world ofscience, business, policy, healthcare, academia, farmers, indigenous people, youthorganizations, and consumer groups and environmental activists among others to explore how to achieve that.

The meeting, which was virtual, was to help establish a common position by African countries at the UNFSS, with focus on providing an aggregation of views on key issues that will shape the continent’s food systems over the next decade, which is also in tandem with Agenda 2063, the development blue print of the AU and the intermediary goals as enshrined in the CAADP Malabo Declaration on “Accelerated Africa Agriculture Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity  and Improved Livelihoods”.

Africa’s common position is informed by existing continental and regional policy frameworks, and outcomes from the national dialogues on the UNFSS facilitated by AUDA-NEPAD across the continent.

The position is further informed by the numerous independent dialogues organized byfarmer organizations, civil society, academic and research organizations, private sector, among others.

The United Nations Commission for Africa (UNECA), and several multilateral agenciesare providing technical support in this endeavor.

Once endorsed, the Africa common position will constitute the voice of the continent at the UNFSS to demonstrate the commitment of the region to contribute as a partner in setting the agenda for global food systems transformation.

H.E. Amb. Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner for ARDWE in an address to open the meeting posit that such a common position by the AU Member States at the UNFSS should lead to strengthened action towards achieving Agenda 2063 . "

This is an opportunity for us to build a food system that provides nutritious food for all, including the vulnerable who are currently forgotten, so that it can sustain millions of actors in the agri-food system along the value chains",she added.

Amb. Sacko further suggested that Africa’s position should be guided by the vision of “An Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena”.The 121 point report is centered on the following six broad themes:• Section 1: Introduction;

• Section 2: Overview of Africa’s Food Systems;• Section 3: Challenges and opportunities of African food systems;• Section 4: Drivers of transformation and levers of change in Africa’s food systems;• Section 5: Africa’s game-changing solutions; and• Section 6: Post Summit Rollout Plan.The meeting was graced by the UN special representative for the Food System Dr.AgnesKalibata; Chief Executive Officer of AU-AUDA- Dr.Ibrahim Mayaki, Executive Secretary of theUnited Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)- Dr. Vera Songue and Chair of AfricaRegional Group of Ambassadors in Rome- H.E. Jackline Yonga.