A Workshop On Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development

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The African Development Bank is conducting a second workshop with the theme "Improving Statistics for Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development - Africa Action Plan" from August 27-29 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first workshop was held in Kigali, Rwanda, in June.

The event is organized by the Statistical Capacity Building Division of the Statistics Department (ESTA) in the Chief Economist Complex of the AfDB, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Ethiopian Central Statistics Agency.

The goal of the workshop is to inform participants -- experts from Ministries of Agriculture and National Statistical Offices (NSO) of 21 regional member countries, representatives of African Union Commission and development partners -- about the Global Strategy and the Action Plan. It also provides training on the effective use of Country Assessment instruments in compiling information related to agricultural statistical capacity needs.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Bank's Resident Representative in Ethiopia Mr. Lamin Barrow noted that Africa was the first region to champion the implementation of the Global Strategy, following its endorsement by the 41st Session of the United Nations Statistical Commission in February 2010, by preparing an Action Plan to guide the implementation process in African countries. The Resident Representative underscored the importance of ensuring availability of timely statistics and datasets on the agriculture and rural sectors for end-users and policy-makers, and also informed participants about the steps already taken by the African Development Bank to support the implementation of the pillars of the Action Plan. These include the recruitment of a coordinator, the organization of the first meeting of the Steering Committee and the publication of a News Bulletin.

The Action Plan, which was signed by chief executives of the AfDB, UNECA, African Union Commission (AUC) and FAO, aims to address a number of issues including: (a) the declining quantity and quality of agricultural statistics in developing countries; (b) new data requirements to inform policy on emerging and urgent development issues such as food vs. biofuels production, global warming, environmental sustainability, and food security; and (c) the requirement for the data systems to be harmonized and integrated to achieve synergy and cost-effectiveness.

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