Kampala- Uganda (PANA) -- Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and his Nigerian counterpart Olesegun Obasanjo were being awaited here Wednesday evening to attend a continental conference on "Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020" opening near Kampala Thursday.
Host Ugandan President Yoweri, whose country is co-organising the gathering with the US-based International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI), will officially open the three-day meeting, according to the official programme.
Food and nutrition are two of Africa's numerous outstanding challenges.
Some 200 million of the continent's population of over 800 million are currently undernourished and their numbers have increased by 15 percent in less than a decade, having almost doubled since the late 1960s.
Gambia's national nutritional agency's director Isatou Jallow will give a keynote address on the prevailing situation on the two crucial aspects in the people's well-being.
Her discussion paper will be on "Africa's Food And Nutrition Security: Where Are We And How Did We Get Here?" Another keynote speaker will be Mark Rosegrand, who heads the IFPRI's environment and technology section, who will address the estimated 500 participants on "Looking Ahead: Long-Term Prospects For Africa's Food And Nutrition Security.
" Why Africa has not yet achieved food and nutrition security will be addressed by the agricultural advisor at the NEPAD secretariat in South Africa, Richard Mkandawire.
African Union (AU) Commissioner for Rural Economy, Rosebud Kurwijila from Tanzania, and Josue Dione, who heads the food security and sustainable development at the Economic Commission for Africa, will be among panellists on the topic.
These panels will be followed by sub-regional forums devoted to priorities for action to be achieved by 2020.
Former Mozambican first lady, Graca Machel, now the spouse of retired South African president Nelson Mandela, will address participants on "Mitigating, Preventing And Ending Conflicts In Africa.
" According to the organisers, Museveni and his guests are scheduled to address a joint news conference after the opening ceremony on Thursday.