CABI has pledged its commitment to work in partnership with the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) of the African Union Commission (AUC) as part of a Letter of Agreement (LoA) to share its scientific expertise in solving problems in agriculture and the environment.
The agreement, which was signed by CABI CEO Dr Trevor Nicholls and African Union Commissioner Josefa Sacko in the presence of Dr Dennis Rangi, CABI’s Director General-Development, Dr Morris Akiri, Regional Director, CABI Africa and Dr Geoffrey Bahiigwa, Director of the AUC, will ultimately aim to help ensure food security for millions of Africans.
Specifically, the close relationship of cooperation will see CABI supporting the African Union (AU) and its member states and their governments in the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all.
Dr Nicholls, speaking after the LoA signing ceremony at the AUC headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said, ‘CABI, through its scientific research and development programmes, is delighted to be working alongside the AUC with the common aim of helping to achieve the underlining principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
‘We will share our knowledge and expertise on managing invasive species to help the AUC’s mission to improve farmers’ access to market, protecting their livelihoods and biodiversity and ultimately increasing food security by fighting pests and diseases.’
Other areas of working outlined as part of the LoA include a focus on the involvement of youth in agriculture as well as female empowerment set against the need to enhance biosecurity and phytosanitary standards across Africa amidst the challenges posed by climate change.
The Commissioner, Mme Josefa Sacko also said, ‘On 27 April 2018, we held a Fall armyworm (FAW) awareness creation meeting during the 14th CAADP partnership platform meeting in Libreville, Gabon. I wish to commend CABI for being present in that meeting and sharing the rich information and knowledge they have on managing the Fall Army Worm with the AU member states during that meeting. That event offered policy guidelines and options for managing the FAW for improved food security and agricultural trade of African commodities.’
The AU is a continental union of 54 African countries which was established in Addis Ababa in 2001 and launched in 2002 in South Africa. The DREA was created with the objectives of promoting agricultural and rural development and ensuring food security for Africans, sustainable development and improved livelihoods for the population and sound environmental and natural resources management.
African Union Commission website https://au.int/en/commission