Ministers of Africa and the Americas to hold first summit to enhance cooperation on agrifood issues

The meeting, to be held on 27, 28 and 29 July in Costa Rica, will outline the role of Africa and the Americas in global food and environmental security. It will provide opportunities for bi-regional cooperation in science, technology and innovation, with a view to building resilient and sustainable food systems.

San Jose / Nairobi, 19 July 2022 (IICA/AGRA/AUDA-NEPAD) – Ministers of Agriculture, national senior officials in the fields of environment, science and technology, heads of international organizations and private sector representatives will meet this month during the first Summit of Africa and the Americas, which will seek to enhance cooperation between the two continents   on Agrifood Systems amid global threats to food security.

The high-level meeting “Building Bridges for Cooperation in Agrifood System Transformation” will take place at the headquarters of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in San Jose, Costa Rica, from 27 to 29 July.

The Summit is being organized by IICA, the African Union Development Agency – New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) and AGRA, who agree that both continents face common challenges in advancing agrifood system transformation and will benefit from sharing of experiences to foster collaboration within the framework of South-South Cooperation.

Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA; Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA; and Nardos Bekele-Thomas, Executive Director of AUDA-NEPAD, will open the ministerial meeting on July 27.

The Summit will take place at a time when a partnership between Africa and the Americas is more important than ever: the Russia Ukraine Conflict has destabilized world commodity markets and global trade flows, leading to an increase in global food and input prices.

The Conflict has also negatively impacted recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in many countries in Africa and the Americas, where food security has worsened and is expected to continue deteriorating.

The hybrid Summit is the most important event within the framework of joint efforts between leaders of Africa and the Americas to align their priorities based on productive, environmental, cultural and historical similarities and common challenges with respect to agrifood systems. 

At the Summit, ministers and officials will identify areas of joint work and cooperation between the two regions, as well as the operational and financial mechanisms required to mobilize the necessary resources to increase the productivity, inclusion, and sustainability of agrifood systems. They will focus on five key areas: Science, technology and innovation, including biotechnology

  • Climate change and resilience
  • Digital agriculture
  • Institutional innovations and policies for social inclusion, safety nets, health and nutrition, and the recovery of degraded natural resources
  • Fostering a fairer and more transparent international food trade system

About IICA

IICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence. www.iica.int/en 

About AUDA-NEPAD

The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD is the technical body of the African Union. The core mandate of the AUDA-NEPAD is to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of regional and continental priority programmes and projects and to push for partnerships, resource mobilisation, research and knowledge management. Through AUDA-NEPAD African countries are provided unique opportunities to take full control of their development agenda, to work more closely together, and to cooperate more effectively with international partners. www.nepad.org 

About AGRA

Founded in 2006, AGRA, is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyze Agriculture Transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all of them small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent. www.agra.org 

More information:

Institutional Communication Division of IICA
comunicacion.institucional@iica.int 

Mwanja Ng’anjo, Ag. Head of Communication, AUDA-NEPAD
Mwanjan@nepad.org

Rebecca Weaver, Ag. Head of Communications, AGRA
rweaver@agra.org