Making Sustainable Agriculture a Future for Youth in Africa was the joint African Union and European Union Agriculture Ministers Conference held in Rome, at the Food and Agriculture Organization premises.
The AU-EU Agriculture Ministerial Conference aimed to build up political engagement ahead of the Africa-EU Summit in November 2017 whose objective is a common vision on how to generate sustainable, inclusive jobs for African youth in the agri-food sector and rural economy.
Making Sustainable Agriculture a Future for Youth in Africa Plenary Opening
The opening plenary was addressed by Mr José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director General; Mr Tarmo Tamm, Minister Estonian Presidency in EU Council; Mrs Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commissioner; Mr Phil Hogan, European Union Commissioner; and this session was moderated by Mr Hans Hoogeveen, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome.
The statement by FAO Director- General José Graziano da Silva
In his remarks, the FAO Director-General remarked the goals enshrined in the 2030 Agenda and also to the Malabo Declaration to end hunger by 2025 and the African Union's Agenda 2063 which are the guiding principles for agriculture and rural development in the case of Africa.
- to enhance youth participation and leadership in producer organizations and other rural institutions,
- the stimulation of private sector investments,
- to provide rural areas with better services such as electricity, education, and health,etc,
- the implementation of a territorial approach focused on strengthening the physical, economic, social and political links between small urban centers and their surrounding rural areas
- to invest more in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Regarding the investment into ICTs, Mr José Graziano da Silva specifically said,
"ICT has a great youth appeal, and also excellent potential to improve efficiency in different fields of farm work. ICT also helps to improve the impact of rural advisory services and social protection programmes. It also facilitates access to markets, information and business opportunities in remote rural areas"