Egypt and FAO ramp up support to South-South Cooperation

25 June 2014, Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) – At the 23rd session of the African Union Summit, the Egyptian Government renewed its commitment in support of African countries’ efforts to achieve food security and improve agricultural and rural development. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Egypt and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has sealed the announced commitment.

“South-South Cooperation is crucial for knowledge sharing and also to promote stability and development across the African continent. Nowadays, South-South Cooperation is no longer a slogan but a necessary instrument for achieving more with less”, said H.E. Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, “Egypt is ready to offer its technical expertise, technologies, and long-standing experience to boost agriculture, agribusiness and improve food security across African countries”, he added.

The FAO Director General, Jose’ Graziano Da Silva, who co-signed the Memorandum, thanked the Egyptian Government for its contribution and stressed the strategic importance of horizontal cooperation mechanisms in exchanging development solutions to reduce poverty and hunger.

Under the Memorandum, special support will be provided to the Nile-bordering countries, Sahel and the Horn of Africa to enhance management of natural resources; boost agricultural production and productivity; build the countries’ capacities to respond to crises and threats and, improve food security.

“Poverty and food insecurity are still a reality in the continent. At a time when a protracted financial crisis is impacting the flow of traditional development assistance, South-South Cooperation provides an unprecedented opportunity to promote direct exchange of practices, knowledge and experience between countries of the global South”, said Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa.

Egypt will provide ad hoc technical expertise in various agricultural fields and train officials of selected countries in areas where Egypt has a comparative advantage.  FAO will provide support to facilitate mutual learning between countries, oversee technical and quality standards, promote partnerships and facilitate resource mobilization.

FAO’s South-South Cooperation

FAO has been facilitating South-South Cooperation initiatives between and among countries for more than 20 years, providing technical support to country-level action on food insecurity. Since 1996, tripartite agreements have been signed with over 50 developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Near East. Over 1 900 experts and technicians have been fielded in the framework of various food security initiatives, showing that the mutual sharing and exchange of key development solutions can make an invaluable contribution to the achievement of food security and to the modernization of small-scale agriculture throughout the developing world.

In Africa and the Near East Region so far, Morocco and FAO signed an agreement of USD 1 million to benefit African countries, in collaboration with Morocco’s private sector.

Through a USD 2.5 million agreement, Chad financed a first phase of SSC knowledge sharing by Vietnamese experts and technicians in support of the implementation of the National Programme for Food Security.

Angola signed an agreement worth USD 2.2 million to support the Brazilian Research Agency (EMBRAPA) to carry veterinary and agricultural research, rehabilitation and capacity development in Angola.

Nigeria launched a second phase of SSC through a USD 19.6 million agreement that supports capacity and knowledge sharing by over 650 Chinese experts and technicians, in support of programmes on sustainable agriculture and food Security.