Dr. Patrick Kormawa, the newly appointed Sub-regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa and FAO Representative to AU and UNECA, presented his credentials to H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Welcoming Mr. Kormawa, the Chairperson expressed her appreciation for the long standing collaboration between FAO and the African Union Commission (AUC). Dr. Dlamini Zuma called upon FAO to join the AUC and other development partners in the implementation of the 10-year medium-term plan of the AU Agenda 2063.
She highlighted that, at the AU Summit in Johannesburg last month (June 2015), African women urged the Heads of States and Governments to promote mechanization in the agricultural sector, to eliminate drudgery, low productivity and to enhance competitiveness.
“Without access to modern technology and innovation, transforming Africa’s agriculture for prosperity and inclusive development would hardly be achieved in the short run”, emphasized Dr. Dlamini Zuma. She urged FAO to work closely with the AU and African governments to promote agricultural commercialization of the small-scale sector and ‘send the hoe to the museum’.
On his part, Mr. Kormawa expressed the commitment of FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, to the partnership between FAO and the AU, particularly towards a hunger free Africa with the leadership of African governments and the AU. ‘It is in this respect that FAO has reinforced the liaison and partnership function to the AU by my appointment and separating the liaison function from that of FAO representation to Ethiopia’, said Mr. Kormawa.
‘The strengthening of the collaboration with the AUC will help keep the focus on the importance of eradicating hunger as a precondition for achieving “accelerated agricultural growth and economic transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods” as articulated in the Malabo Declaration’, Mr. Kormawa added.
FAO and AUC continue efforts to reduce undernourishment and malnutrition
Since it was established 70 years ago, FAO has been supporting Member States in their efforts to improve food and nutrition security. The assistance FAO provides is tailored to country needs, focused on building capacity, sharing knowledge, facilitating policy dialogue and innovative partnerships, and developing and implementing agreements, codes of conduct, and technical standards.
The FAO Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa, established in February 2007, is a technical hub which supports 8 countries in Eastern Africa – Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda – and has a core team of professionals with multi-disciplinary expertise. It is responsible for developing, promoting, overseeing and implementing agreed strategies for addressing sub-regional food security, nutrition, agriculture and rural development priorities.
The office also plays a very important liaison role to the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. It has established collaboration under partnerships with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the region as well as with a large number of key development partners based in Ethiopia and the sub-region.