21 January 2019

East Africa: FAO Lauds PM Abiy's Leadership in the Horn

Addis Ababa — Director-General of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), José Graziano da Silva has praised the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Horn of African Region.

Continuing his meetings with development partners in Rome, Premier Abiy Ahmed met with FAO's Director-General, José Graziano da Silva.

According to a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, da Silva commended the role being played by Ethiopia in the Horn noting that "peace is an important pre-condition".

He also particularly noted PM Abiy's political leadership in facilitating sweeping changes.

Premier Abiy on his part highlighted that integration is a priority for him and therefore peace in the region as a critical foundation for realizing this goal.

With regards to food security and agriculture, PM Abiy emphasized that the needs of small holder farmers is notably access to markets.

This, therefore, requires joint technical interventions, which both agreed to build on and strengthen the existing cooperation, it was indicated.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Abiy held talks with Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in his third meeting with development partners in Rome.

The two sides agreed to further strength IFAD's and the Government's collaboration in medium scale irrigation and rural financing to enhance the performance of Ethiopia in addressing the need of poor communities.

Houngbo appreciated Abiy's courage that he has shown so far to bring change in the previous few months.

IFAD's support to Ethiopia is the largest portfolio in Africa that boost the government's effort to enhance the life of poor communities through enhancing the productivity of smallholder farmers, pastoralists and agro-pastoralists, he added.

Abiy on his part stressed on the need for strengthening irrigation and food security interventions.

Prime Minister Abiy who arrived in Rome, Italy yesterday for an official visit, is expected to meet with the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte following his invitation to PM Dr Abiy during his 2018 Ethiopia visit.

On his way to the World Economic Forum to be held in Davos, Switzerland, Premier Abiy has made a stopover in Rome, Italy on Sunday.

During his stay in Rome, PM Abiy expected to meet with his Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte.

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