Thursday, 12 March 2009

Transforming Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Forum on Improving the Effectiveness of US Assistance for African Ag

23-24 February 2009. Washington, D. C. The event was organized by the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa. Participants included academics, researchers, and members of the private sector, representatives from organizations such as the World Bank, NEPAD, COMESA, IFPRI, Bread for the World and USAID and ambassadors to the US from various African countries.

The first day of the meeting explored issues most relevant to agricultural development in Africa. Topics explored included why agricultural development remains a key challenge to Africa, food security in Africa in the context of the converging food and financial crises and the role of various factors/institutions/groups in agricultural and rural development such as science and technology, regional economic communities, marketing and trade, emergency and humanitarian food availability, infrastructural development, capacity building, the private sector and grassroots organizations.

The ED of FARA was in attendance and presented a paper entitled "What Does Africa Need to Harness Science and Technology for Its Agricultural Development, and How Can the United States Assist?"

The second day of the meeting focused more specifically on the US's current role in African agricultural development, and discussions centred on what will characterize more effective involvement in the future, focusing on specific countries and areas of current policy in which attention is required.

Background: PCHPA
The Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa was formed in early 2000 out of concern that the U.S. response to rising hunger and poverty in Africa was increasingly inadequate. The Partnership's initial focus was to formulate a vision, strategy, and action plan to significantly increase public and private investment in African economic development and to increase the effectiveness of U.S. assistance to strengthen African agricultural and rural development.

Meeting Agenda