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FAO Presses African Leaders To Eliminate Hunger By 2025 

Many deadlines have been set for African countries to end one national problem or the other and most often than not, those deadlines have passed leaving the issues behind intact and even sometimes more serious than before.
The persistent failure of the Governments of the various African countries to solve their prescribed problems within the timeframes, however, does not seem to dissuade the international organisations that often are the identifiers of the predicaments and the prescribers of the social, economic and political remedies.
Recently, the Assistant Director General and Regional Representative of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO, in Africa, Bukar Tijani, urged African Heads of State to work hard in achieving food security and the elimination of hunger in African by 2025.
“The FAO and all UN partners, the AU in collaboration with African Governments have put as topmost priority to eliminate hunger by 2025 in Africa,” said Bukar during a press briefing after the Ministerial meeting of Tokyo International Conference for Africa Development, TICAD V, which took place in Yaounde.
He added that Governments can achieve the goal through the allocation of more budgets from public funds and put food security as a major agenda.
According to Tijani, FAO has as objective to ensure agriculture and food and nutrition security despise the problems plaguing Africa. 
“Statistics show that 842 million Africans go hungry in the continent, a reduction to the billions of people a few years ago,” said the FAO representative.
Bukar said in sub-Saharan African countries, 233 million people go hungry and 24.8 percent of undernourished people of which the first Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, promote.
To him, FAO supports African countries through technological innovations by providing improved resources to boost production. 
“FAO communication strategy is to raise momentum with partners so as to keep them well informed in carrying out the various partnerships. Globally, we report on the best practice that can help mandate major partners of the AU,” Bukar said.
With reference to African countries facing crises, Bukar told the press that FAO collaborates with other UN organs to manage food insecurity in these countries by providing agricultural kits other resources to displaced farmers and further seeks humanitarian aids from partners.
He added that traditional farming should be encouraged because it fosters improved breeds and produces free from artificial inputs also called genetically modified organism.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fumio Kishida said TICAD V changed Japan’s business community.  
He affirmed that Japanese corporations opened their eyes widely to Africa’s potential as a resource supplier and a market. 
“Recognising Africa as an important business partner for Japan, they have come to believe that now is the time to expand into Africa and work with respective countries towards economic development,” said Fumio Kishida.
According to Kishida, approximately 60,000 people visited the venue during TICAD V, encountering Africa’s products and culture, thereby gaining a real sense of Africa’s potential and abundance. 
He reiterated that agriculture plays an important role in the economic growth and poverty reduction as Africa’s largest economics sector. 
“The Africa Union has designated this year the Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa and Japan as an international partner has undertaken efforts to achieve the role of developing African agriculture,” said Kishida.
Again, Kishida confirmed that 2015 had been targeted for the MDGs and the international community has begun in earnest, consideration of a post-2015 development agenda to be adopted next year.
“Real and significant progress can be made if Japan and Africa join hands in moving forward this consideration. The AU has prepared the African common position on the post-2015 development agenda,” the Japanese Minister said.
It should be noted that at TICAD V Japan announced an assistance package for Africa comprising approximately US$32 billion and other assistance of 15 billion in the public–private initiatives over the coming five years. 
By Marie Solange Moki

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