Published Friday , on 18 February 2022, 11:30:12 by NONAHA

Organizing committee visits Malabo for planning mission

17 February 2022, Malabo – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will hold its next Africa regional conference in Malabo, hosted by the Government of Equatorial Guinea. The regional conference is FAO’s highest governing body in Africa.

The 32nd Session of the Regional Conference for Africa will see agriculture ministers and other government officials from across Africa come together with civil society groups, the private sector, development partners and observer member countries to provide guidance on priorities in agricultural and rural development and food systems transformation for the years ahead.

A team from FAO’s Regional Office for Africa has been in Malabo this week to finalize preparations.

The four-day conference, scheduled from 11 to 14 April, will be held as a hybrid event, both at the Sipopo Conference Centre in Malabo and online with participants joining via videoconferencing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Conference Secretary and FAO Deputy Regional Representative Yurdi Yasmi has met with government counterparts including Honorable Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forests and Environment Her Excellency Francisca Eneme Efua who will preside as Conference Chairperson.

“FAO is pleased to be working with the Government of Equatorial Guinea and we recognize the hard work and investment that the host country has committed for this major event. This Conference is coming at a crucial time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and as African countries face increased impacts of natural and man-made shocks and threats,” said Yasmi.

Participants attending in person in Malabo will be strictly observing the country’s COVID-19 protocols, while others will participate in the online meeting or watch the freely available livestream.

Working together for better results in Africa

In focus at the conference will be FAO’s new Strategic Framework, which aims to help countries achieve Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life, leaving no one behind.

A Senior Officers Meeting, focusing on technical issues, will kick-start the conference on 11-12 April, including a special event for Member Countries to share best practices, while the Ministerial segment will begin on the 13th.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea will officially open the Ministerial segment and the FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu will address the session followed by speakers from the African Union, the Committee on World Food Security and others.

Pressing issues on the agenda

The agenda includes pressing issues in the region such as policy priorities to recover from COVID-19’s impacts on agri-food systems; the prevention of future pandemics through the One Health approach; investing in ecosystem restoration for agri-food systems; promoting investment and trade in agricultural products within Africa in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); and ways to ensure women, youth and the poor are included in agri-food systems transformation.

Participating countries will share best practices and explore partnerships and opportunities for innovation and digital technologies to help improve food security and address other challenges in the region.

A new regional technical platform on Common Agricultural Policies and Practices will be launched, as well as a new publication with the African Union that promotes ways to better invest in young people working in agri-food systems.

The 32nd Session will be the first time the Regional Conference for Africa is held in Equatorial Guinea.