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Bank Vice President holds talks with African Union Commission on agriculture, water and human capital development

07-Jan-2020

I recently travelled to the African Union Commission headquarters for a series of high-level talks to advance the role of the African Development Bank as broker of interventions designed to help feed Africa and improve the quality of life for people across the continent. Joining me on the mission to Addis Ababa were the Bank’s senior management and specialists in agriculture and nutrition.

The primary reason for our visit was a meeting with Her Excellency Ambassador Josefa Sacko, the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, and her team, to map out a joint plan between our institutions to aid the rapid growth of the African agriculture and agribusiness sector.

The meeting focused on the priorities, roles and responsibility of each institution in driving progress.

The discussions are being formalized into a joint agriculture and food security working group comprising of the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The group will focus on the coordination of seed systems development; special agro-processing zones; food safety laboratories and food safety agency; access to agricultural mechanization services for women; and African land policy reform. 

Ambassador Sacko said that the planning meetings were proof of a fruitful relationship between the institutions in delivering food security and shared agriculture programs.

A follow-up meeting was held in Abidjan, where the Thematic Working Group for Agriculture and Food Security of the Joint Secretariat Support Office for the African Development Bank was launched. The Thematic Working Group will ensure structured implementation of the priority interventions agreed in Addis Ababa.

The engagements in Addis Ababa included a meeting with Her Excellency Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor, the AUC’s Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology and also with Her Excellency Amira El Fadil, the African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs. Our discussions focused on ways to incorporate job creation initiatives of the AUC’s Agenda 2063 and the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa program, as well as issues around improving nutrition across African populations.

We are making progress on the Bank’s agriculture sector development agenda and this visit to Addis Ababa further laid the foundation for similar coordination with Commissioners Agbor and El Fadil. 

I look forward to the next working sessions scheduled for February 2020, after the AUC Summit. By working together and coordinating efforts, we can accelerate progress towards Africa meeting the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Agenda 2063 targets.

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