Thursday, 12 February 2015
THE AU COMMISSION TAKES PART IN THE GULFOOD WORLD FOOD SECURITY SUMMIT IN DUBAI
Dubai, UAE, 9th February 2015: A three-day World Food Security Summit opened in Dubai on 9th February at Conrad Hotel Dubai under the theme “Securing the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC)’s future food supply.” Organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre, the 20th edition of Gulfood Conference was attended by close to one hundred guests from private sector investment companies, business consultancy firms and ministries of agriculture, industry, trade and investment. The conference opened with keynote addresses and statements delivered by six high-level dignitaries, including the AU Commission, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Agriculture and CEOs of leading trade and investment corporations.
In her keynote address, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Her Excellency Mrs. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime highlighted the various challenges that African agriculture and its broad spectrum of cropproduction, livestock, fisheries and natural resource subsectors is facing. She also underscored the several opportunities for investment in agroindustry and foreign trade on the African continent.
“Our food processing capacities are also low to the extent that food losses are exacerbated and value addition is limited and our people are deprived of quality and safe food,” she pinpointed.
Commissioner Tumusiime also enlightened the conference audience of the Africa-Arab Partnership, which includes, among others the Africa-Arab Conference of Ministers of Agriculture and its Steering Committee which she and the Director General of the Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development, H.E. Dr. Tariq binMousa Al-Zadjali, co-chair.
“In this cooperation framework, Africa’s orientation is guided by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which has among its key pillars a focus on investment particularly private sector and market access that goes along with value chain development,” she underlined. She further brought up specific areas in which Arab and other international corporations could invest in. These include food harvest storage and processing facilities, market, livestock processing and water infrastructure, to mention but a few.
Hon Koskei from Kenya gave a case example of Kenya as an attractive investmentdestination exemplifying many other such examples in Africa.
In his remarks, Mr.QuintinGray, US Department of State’s Dubai Agriculture Counselor underscored Africa’s potential for improving the food security of the Gulf States through food imports and agro industrial and commercial cooperation. Other interveners spoke on their organisational roles in promoting the food industry, cutting-edge food processing technologies and investments in the sector. The conference also featured panel discussions and presentations and parallel sessions on several related topics, including policy responses to food price increases, climate change and investment.