Posted by: africanpressorganization | 3 February 2010

Preparation for the special summit of EAC heads of state on food security and climate change




Preparation for the special summit of EAC heads of state on food security and climate change



ARUSHA, Tanzania, February 3, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A preparatory meeting for the forthcoming EAC Heads of State Special Summit on Food Security and Climate Change was convened in Arusha, Tanzania from 25 to 26 January, 2010.


The meeting, which was attended by key stakeholders from across the region and experts from EAC Partner States knowledgeable on food security and climate change matters, aimed at brainstorming on the status of food security and climate change in the region and provide for broad based consultation of key stakeholders in the preparation for the Special Summit.


While welcoming the delegates to the meeting, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Mr. Jean Claude Nsengiyumva said the meeting came at a time when the region was faced with serious food shortage and hence the need by both the public and private actors to work together to alleviate the situation.


Mr. Nsengiyumva reiterated that the outcome of the meeting would assist the EAC Secretariat in preparing a coherent background paper and key issues for deliberation during the next meeting of the Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security incorporating Ministers responsible for Environment and Natural Resources and other relevant Sectors, prior to the Special Summit slated for 25 – 26 March, 2010 in Arusha, Tanzania.


The meeting, which was chaired by Mr. Amani P. Mwatonoka, Assistant Director, Ministry of East African Cooperation, the United Republic of Tanzania, was enriched by presentations from Representatives of EAC Partner States and Key Stakeholders from across the region on the status of food security and climate change in the region. Facts, figures and evidence of food shortage and climate change impacts in the region were presented.

The meeting identified key emerging issues from the presentations in regard to food security and climate change which will enable the EAC Secretariat to prepare for deliberations during the Special Summit on Food Security and Climate Change.


A meeting of experts is to be held during the month of February, 2010 to work out the Summit Paper containing clear declaration and implementation roadmap of priority intervention areas.


Background Information


The EAC region is frequently affected by food shortages and pockets of hunger although the region as a whole has huge potential and capacity to produce enough food for regional consumption with surplus for export. There are many factors leading to this state of affairs but the most critical ones are: (i) inadequate food exchange/trade between times and/or places of abundant harvest on one hand, and those with deficit on the other; and (ii) high variability in production caused by high variability of weather which is becoming worse due to climate change.


In view of the above, the 11th Summit Meeting of EAC Heads of State, which was held in Arusha, Tanzania on 20 November, 2009 made the following directive:


“The Summit directed the urgent development of a climate change policy and strategies to address the adverse impact of climate change, including determining how surplus food in one country can be shared in countries that are worst hit. The Summit further directed that a special food security and climate change Summit be organized quickly and should involve all key stakeholders”.



East African Community (EAC)


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