Angola boosts Africa food security kitty

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Angola has announced that it will give US$10 million to the new Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, administered by the FAO, to be invested in promoting food security in Africa, the UN food and agriculture agency said in a press statement from its Rome headquarters on Friday

The announcement, made by Afonso Pedro Canga, the Angolan Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, came at the official launch of the fund at a side event during the 38th FAO Conference, the Organization's highest governing body.

Announcing the contribution, Canga congratulated FAO for this initiative and said that the donation was a demonstration of solidarity from Angola and the fulfilment of a commitment made by President Eduardo dos Santos during an official visit to Angola by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in January.

The fund became a reality in February with a first donation of US$30 million by Equatorial Guinea.

Speaking at the official launch of the fund, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea, said "Africa is a continent abounding with agricultural potential, including forests, land - 60 percent of which is not farmed  - water, a young population.

"There are sufficient conditions for producing enough food for the people of Africa ... yet we are a net importer of food," he said, adding "We all have to do what has to be done to turn this trend around."

Cameroon, as well as civil society organizations from the Republic of Congo, have also contributed to the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund.

FAO Director-General da Silva thanked Equatorial Guinea and Angola for their donations. He said they showed that African countries were ready to take on a bigger role in promoting food security not only in their own countries but in the region as a whole.

"There is greater solidarity and a clear understanding that, in a globalized world, it is not possible to achieve food security in only one country. I believe that we can all sense a growing political commitment to eradicate hunger, and the desire to transform this commitment into concrete action," he said.

The Director-General stressed that FAO's role was to support national and regional efforts in the fight against hunger. This was the spirit, he added, that led FAO to join forces with the African Union, the Lula Institute and other partners to organize a high-level meeting on food security in Addis Ababa on 30 June and 1 July, calling on all to participate.

The idea of the fund was launched during FAO's 2012 Regional Conference for Africa, held in the Republic of Congo, when the host President Denis Sassou Nguesso called for greater solidarity between African nations to fight hunger.

Administered by the FAO, the fund will support Africa-led and Africa-owned initiatives in the framework of the African Union's Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) to boost agricultural productivity and food security in the region.
-0- PANA DJ/VAO 21June2013

21 Junho 2013 17:13:54

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