Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, August 3, 2020

Joint action on COVID-19: Boosting our Africa Food and Agriculture Response

3 August 2020. 14:00-16:00 (CEST/ Rome time). Africa Regional Dialogue: Joint action on COVID-19: Boosting our Africa Food and Agriculture Response.

The dialogue brought together more than 250 participants with diverse actors, development partners, government representatives, technical experts, the private sector, civil society, producer organizations, research institutions and others. This event discussed the potential of deepening partnership and joint action at a time when we know development strategies and budgets are being realigned in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Consult with resource partners on priority programme areas to strengthen the agrifood sectors response to COVID-19;
  • Demonstrate opportunities for partnership in responding to the immediate humanitarian food crises, alongside the mid- and long-term development actions; and
  • Mobilize all forms of resources and partnerships for joint results at country, regional and global level.
At the dialogue, FAO presented an FAO Africa regional response package to COVID-19, fully aligned with the FAO corporate COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme, organized along seven key themes.

The seven priority areas underpinning FAO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic are (Action sheets):
  1. reinforcing a global humanitarian response plan for COVID-19; (3 pages)
    FAO's component of the Global COVID-19 HRP (July update) include 18 Sub Saharan African countries out of 34 countries across the world
  2. improving data for decision-making(4 pages)
    2-1. Integrated Farmer Registration Systems Integrating agri-data
    2-2. Rapid Repeated Assessments to Monitor Food Insecurity
  3. ensuring economic inclusion and social protection to reduce poverty(5 pages)
    3-1. Strengthening Rural Institutions and Organizations in AfricaUSD 45 million, 3 years (August 2020‒August 2023) , 15 countries
    3-2. Rural Social Protection in Africa
  4. bolstering trade and food safety standards(5 pages)
    4-1. African Free Trade and Food Safety
    4-2. Digital Technologies for Trade and Food Safety
  5. boosting smallholder resilience for recovery(5 pages)
    5-1. Safeguard Vulnerable Pastoralist and Agro Pastoralist Households
  6. preventing the next zoonotic pandemic through a strengthened One Health approach(5 pages)
    6-1. Partnership for One Health in Africa
    6-2. Boosting One Health Country Capacity across Africa
  7. and triggering food systems transformation(5 pages)
    7-1. Climate Smart Food Value Chains in Africa
    7-2. Antimicrobial Resistance and Food Safety in Africa

Opening Remarks 
  • Mr. Abebe HAILE-GABRIEL, Assistant Director-General/ Regional Representative for Africa, FAO (Moderator)
  • Scene setting and the vision ahead - the Food and Agriculture COVID-19 Response - Ms. Beth BECHDOL, Deputy Director-General, FAO (t.b.c.)
  • Building back better: towards Food Systems Transformation in Africa - H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia SACKO, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
    “COVID-19 is reversing the development progress made by the African continent in the recent years and is threatening its ability to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The pandemic is fast leading to a food and nutrition crisis and exacerbating the challenges in Africa’s already-fragile food system. It is now time to focus all opportunities that the crisis has brought forward and Build Back Better towards food system transformation in Africa.”
  • Presentation of the FAO COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme in Africa - Mr. Ade FREEMAN, Regional Programme Leader for Africa, FAO

Partners' responses
  • Mr. Gerald MASILA, Chief Executive Officer, East African Grain Council - EAGC
  • Mr. Tom OWIYO, Senior Adviser to the Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, African Development Bank (AfDB
  • Ms. Sara MBAGO-BHUNU, Regional Director of East and Southern Africa, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD
  • Mr. Simeon EHUI, Regional Director for Sustainable Development for Africa, The World Bank
  • Mr. John KELLEY, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., The U.S. Mission to The African Union, United States of America (USA)
  • Mr. Apollos Nwafor, Vice President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA
  • Ms. Elizabeth NSIMADALA, President of Pan African Farmers Organization (PAFO)
  • H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia SACKO, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
  • Ms. Beth BECHDOL, Deputy Director-General, FAO
  • Mr. Abebe HAILE-GABRIEL, Assistant Director-General/ Regional epresentative for Africa, FAO (Moderator)
    "Following this event, we expect a series of sub-regional and country dialogues to follow. We are going to pursue and facilitate sub-regional, with Regional Economic Communities, as well as country level dialogues, so that they could follow the specificities of each subregion and country and support what’s required at those levels. Indeed, country level interactions with partners across the board would be vital to see how best to meet needs and pursue joint action, as well as continuously monitoring the evolving situation.”
Further resources:

30 July 2020, Rome – The FAO Director-General QU Dongyu met virtually with more than 120 senior managers of the UN Agency from around the world to present the next steps in implementing reforms to make the Organization more efficient, effective, inclusive, transparent and results-oriented.

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