Kampala – 28 May 2021, The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) hosted a virtual dialogue for Africa Government Technical Experts towards the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 under the theme “Transforming food systems is crucial for delivering all the Sustainable Development Goals”. Ten (10) African countries (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) participated in the Dialogue.
Universities in the Network as well as the policy makers recognize the interconnectedness between science and policy; the potential for universities to impact on innovations in the agrifood system sector; and the ability to harness the youth dividend and strengthen opportunities for agri-prenuership that will influence Africa’s attainment of the SDG targets. RUFORUM a Network of 129 universities in 38 African countries, reached out to Technical Experts in Africa for the dialogue to discuss the UN Food System Summit, agree on the key steps to be taken and the key messages to be shared with the Government Ministers for consideration towards the Food System Summit and to generate solutions and actions to inform not only the deliberations during the Food Summit but as an opportunity to advance high priority food systems with commitment at the highest national, regional and continent policy levels.
The meeting with the Technical Experts on 27th May 2021 followed a series of national and subregional dialogues (for Central, Eastern, Southern and West Africa) that RUFORUM organized jointly with Member State Governments and other actors so as to garner collective understanding of the issues and actions needed to strengthen Food Systems in Africa. The convening for North Africa and Middle East is slated for 10 June 2021. Prior to that RUFORUM will be hosting two global events, a convening for Global Youth on 01 June 2021, and a Convening for Global Higher Education, Research and Advisory Services Networks on 2nd June 2021. The outcomes of these deliberations will be presented to a meeting of Africa’s Ministers of Agriculture, Education and Science, Technology and innovation, who will then present their recommendations to African Heads of State and Government, and subsequently to the UN Food Systems Summit in October 2021.
According to Prof Adipala Ekwamu, RUFORUM Executive Secretary and one of the 100 persons appointed by the United Nations to champion the UN Food Systems Summit, the ongoing Dialogues provide opportunities for Universities and other actors to engage with the Governments and Global community towards needed actions towards ending hunger and malnutrition and developing more resilient, inclusive and climate –compatible agriculture and food systems.
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