MONROVIA-Liberian Foreign Affairs Minister Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., and Representative of the African Group to the Advisory Board of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and Ambassador Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN and Representative of the African Group to the Advisory Board of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, co-organized an Africa Regional Dialogue in the city of Agadir, Morocco to discuss issue affecting the agriculture sector of the Continent.
Speaking during the dialogue in Agadir, Morocco, Minister Kemayah said the African Regional Dialogue presents an opportunity to hold vital discussions; not only on the needs of the African continent in general; and individual African Countries; in particular; but also, the ambitions to engender a shared path towards the eradication of hunger; building inclusive, healthier food systems; and protecting the planet.
According to a dispatch, Minister Kemayah intoned that as they endeavor collectively to enhance Africa’s shared vision; core values and perspectives; he want to also acknowledge the contributions of relevant regional stakeholders; including the African Union; for its leadership in steering the process of developing Africa’s common position; and the partnership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The Liberian Chief Diplomat commended the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) for the establishment of the Africa National Food Systems Conveners’ Platform; bringing together, Africa National Conveners; with the aim of facilitating peer exchange on the national dialogues and the development of the Africa Common Position on Food Systems; to share on emerging issues and national priorities; in pursuit of resilient and inclusive food systems; and providing technical support to National Conveners.
He said Africa being no exception; the challenges and fragility of food systems; particularly, for the most marginalized populations; have become even more evident as a result of the disruptions to food systems; caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; further exposing the vulnerabilities in food systems across many African countries. When our food systems fail, the resulting disorder threatens education, health and the economy; as well as human rights, peace and security.
Minister Kemayah used the occasion to mention that the Government of Liberia through the National Dialogue Convener; had initially planned physical in-country dialogues in the five agricultural regions in our country, disclosing that the dialogues were scheduled to be held in June, 2021. “Regrettably, the situation of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the country; as around the globe; caused a delay in convening the National Dialogues.
“It is welcoming and appreciative that the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Liberia has offered the Government of Liberia through the National Convener; Hon. Jeanine Milly Cooper, Minister of Agriculture; its field offices in Liberia as hubs to convene the National Dialogues virtually. The dialogues are now scheduled to be held from August 4-12, 2021; and will be convened through the assistance of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Programme teleconferencing facilities across the country”, Minister Kemayah said.
Accordingly, Minister Kemayah further disclosed that through consultations with stakeholders, four topical issues have been identified for discussions during the National Dialogues. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); through its technical support to the National Coordination Secretariat; will develop sub-topics and points of discussions. The four main topical issues for discussions during the National Dialogues will include: Food Value Chain Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Liberia’s Economic Growth; Ending Youth Unemployment through Agriculture; Mitigating Climate Impacts on Liberian Farmers; and Reducing Child Malnutrition in Liberia through Viable Food Systems. These National Dialogues are meant to generate broader views; and stimulate inclusive participation from all spectra of the Liberian society.