FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva
FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva

Africa Day celebrates its 56th year of shared vision

As the continent celebrates 56 years of from the “convention of union” or the founding of the African Union, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) emphasizes its support towards the collective vision of creating African solutions to African challenges.

In a bid to propel Africa towards the achievement of the global goals in parallel with the regional aspirations, FAO works closely with key partners and explores innovative solutions for the accelerated and inclusive agricultural growth in the region.

Moreover, the organization shares the African Union (AU) vision of The Africa We Want, and has been working closely with the Addis-based continental organization to unlock new opportunities in achieving Zero Hunger and the Sustainable Development Goals.

FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said that hunger remains a problem in Africa. He added, “According to our recent estimates conflicts, exacerbated by climate hazards, have reverted the progress made in achieving food security and better nutrition in many countries. In 2018, 257 million people were food insecure in this continent.”

The Director-General also highlighted that stunting of children as well as overweight and obesity are rising in the region, and public policies to promote healthy diets need to be further strengthened.

The strategic partnership and collaboration between the African Union and the FAO is gaining momentum on the ground. African governments are working in parallel with FAO, having pledged in the 2014 Malabo Declaration, to transform agriculture for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods by harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

As Africa moves forward in achieving the collective vision of a continent with access to safe and nutritious food, da Silva looks into strategic partners in driving it further. He said, “On Africa Day, I encourage all countries to keep the Zero Hunger vision at the top of African minds and hearts.”

Africa Day and Ghana

Africa Day has its roots in Ghana. In 1957, Ghana gained independence from Great Britain, and the pan-African visionary and first Prime Minister and President of Ghana, Nkwame Nkrumah, called for a meeting of all independent African states the following year.

That Conference was the first Africa Day or Africa Liberation Day, as it was known at that time. Countries across the African continent and globally celebrate the iconic day for Africa. For 2019, the theme is on “The year of Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa.”

African Union celebrated Africa Day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 25 May 2019 by highlighting landmark achievements of the Union on various issues such as peace and security, continental integration, women and youth empowerment, eradication of diseases, etc. The celebration also reflected on the Union’s transformation and achievements as well as renewing its commitments to realize the goals of Agenda 2063.

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