AU Joint visit with UN, AfDB, WB and EU in Burkina Faso and Sahel Region

AU SAFGRAD was honoured by the visit in Burkina Faso of Dr Dlamini Zuma, African Union Chairperson. Mrs Zuma  had undertaken a joint visit in the Sahel Region from 05 to 07 of November 2013 and had stayed in Ouagadougou, the Capital City of Burkina, from November 6th to 7th. She was accompanied with the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, African Development Bank (AfDB), the President of World Bank (WB) and European Union (EU) Comisionner for Development. In fact, there is a braod recognition that the multifaceted challenges facing the Sahel region require a concerted, integrated reponse that builds on the continental, regional and national efforts. 

Therefore, the objective of this joint visit is to serve as a tangible demonstration of the commitment of the International community to work with the governments of the Sahel Region to help lift the Sahel from poverty and insecurity. The African Union has been promoting development in the Sahel Region and is helping Member States implement its counterterrorism framework.  In addition, the AU Mission for Mali and Sahel (MISAHEL), various Regional Economic Communauties (for instance ECOWAS) as well as technical offices such as African Union SAFGRAD are commited to implement relevant programmes within the Region.

Several important annoucements in terms of actions and financial supports for the Sahel Region have been made during this joint meeting by the five international organisations. The key objectives of the joint visit included the following:

  1. Highlight the commitment of the United Nations, African Union, World Bank Group, African Development Bank and European Union to work together, in collaboration with other partners, to help countries and organizations in the Sahel tackle insecurity and poverty in the region,
  2. Demonstrate well coordinated international support for efforts to address the regional drivers of longstanding fragility in the Sahel in accordance with the priority areas identified by countries and organizations n the region,
  3. Draw attention to neglected but critical issues such as the link between security and development, and the importance of demographics,
  4. Promote the establishment of a coordination platform between countries and organizations in the Sahel to foster cooperation across the region and ensure national and regional ownership of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, as well as the strategies and initiatives of key partners.

During the joint visit Mrs Zuma, in company with the four other heads of delegation met with HE President of Burkina Faso, Mr. Blaise Compaoré as well as the Government of Burkina Faso leaded by the Prime Minister.



Validation workshop on the reports on mainstreaming land policy and governance in the CAADP national agriculture and food security investment plans (NAFSIPS); and land governance in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This workshop is organized to validate the reports on mainstreaming land Policy and Governance in the CAADP national agriculture and food security investment plans (NAFSIPS); and the report on land governance in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

This event will be co-organized by the LPI and the Capacity Development Division of the ECA. The workshop will not only aim to review and validate the findings of the studies but provide inputs to frameworks for tracking progress in the implementation of land governance commitments in the context of the APRM and CAADP. The meeting will further outline actions needed to generate knowledge, promote advocacy and build capacity for regional and country level interventions in Africa.



AU SAFGRAD Coordinator to attend to the 2nd Africa Arab Ministerial Meeting on Agricultural Development & Food Security, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 29 Sept 02 Oct. 2013

Riyadh, KSA – 2 October 2013 – “We can make the Africa-Arab Cooperation a powerful instrument to enhance trade and investment to the desired levels that match the strong cultural ties, the geographic proximity and the tremendous potential that exist within our regions”, said Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission.

Speaking at the opening session of the 2nd Africa Arab Ministerial Meeting on Agricultural development and Food Security that opened today, 2 October 22013, in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at the ministerial level, Commissioner Rhoda Peace took note of the fact that the level of Arab investment in African agriculture has been increasing but could be much higher than what it is today. “African agriculture and, in particular the food sector, offers a huge potential for trade and investment.” added Commissioner Rhoda Peace.

AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture informed the meeting that the African Union and its Member States have reaffirmed that sustainable agricultural growth; food and nutrition security concerns should be effectively and properly addressed to meet the challenges of transformation and development. “This commitment is demonstrated by the formulation, adoption and subsequent rolling out of an overarching continental framework, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), that guides strategies, policies, programmes and collective actions to enhance agricultural development and achieve food and nutrition security objectives”, said Commissioner Rhoda Peace.

The Ministerial meeting has been addressed by Dr. Fahad Bin Abdul Rahman Balghunaim, Minister of Agriculture, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chair of the 2nd meeting; the outgoing Chair, Mr. Ayman Abu Hadid, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the Arab Republic of Egypt and Dr. Mohammed bin Abrahim Al Twaijri, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs of the League of Arab States.

Worth calling that African and Arab ministers of Agriculture and representatives of the African Union Commission, Arab League of States and a number of related organisations, institutions and associations from the Arab and the African Regions met within the framework of the Joint Africa-Arab Partnership (JAP), to further Strengthening Africa-Arab Cooperation through Promoting Sustainable and Sensible Investment in Agriculture and Food Security.

The ministerial meeting held under the theme “Strengthening Africa-Arab Cooperation through Promoting Sustainable and Sensible Investment in Agriculture and Food Security in the context of the Joint Action Plan (JAP) was preceded by a two day meeting of experts, held on 29 and 30, October.

Delegates to experts’ meeting reviewed the progress made thus far within the Africa Arab partnership. It also formulated proposals for Ministers’ consideration and further guidance in expediting the implementation of the Joint Action Plan that the First Joint Ministerial Conference adopted in Sharm El Sheikh in 2010 and was subsequently endorsed by the Africa-Arab Summit.

Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS, AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, was among the DREA Delegation at  the 2nd Africa Arab Ministerial Meeting on Agricultural development and Food Security in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Mrs. Habiba Mejri-cheikh, Director Information and Communication
African Union Commission
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Golden Jubilee : The youth of Burkina Faso takes stock of OAU/AU and envisages the future of African Unity

CBC Vue Gen2

May 25, 2013, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) - The 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU was justly celebrated in the capital city of Burkina Faso. Gathered in a big theatre in the center of the city, in response to AU-SAFGRAD call in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Civil Society, an audience of several hundreds of  people discussed the theme "Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance". Mainly comprising of young people among which many students and militants from Panafricanist associations, the participants have listened for more than four hours to half a dozen panelists mainly University professors and members of the civil society. The media, notably National Television, have attended the meeting in order to cover the event.

After the traditional Anthemns, respectively of Burkina Faso and African Union, the meeting started with the reading of the message of the President of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Dlamini Nkosazana ZUMA, on the occasion of OAU/AU golden Jubilee. Then, came the debates. Most probably motivated by the gender approach, Prof. Mahamadé Sawadogo from the University of Ouagadougou (UO), moderator of the debates, chose to honor the ladies panelists  by first giving them the floor.

In their interventions, Ms. Martine YABRE from civil society and Dr. Jocelyne VOKUMA, anthropologist and researcher, have emphasized on the decisive contribution of women to pan-Africanism, especially with the creation of the Pan-African women Organization (PAWO) far ahead of OAU. Border issues have been addressed by the Prof. Pierre Claver HIEN from the University of Ouagadougou whereas Prof. Abdoulaye SOMA, holder of an agregation in Constitutional law, showed off his early scholar learning by focusing his speech on « pan-Africanism and constitutional law ». As for the eminent Prof. Basile GUISSOU, Delegate General of the National Centre of Scientific Research and Technology (CNRST), he invited the young generation to be optimistic, despite the many challenges such as unemployment and poverty, and to perpetuate the legacy of the first generations of Pan-Africanists like Kwame Nkrumah, Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Cheikh Anta Diop, etc. Last panelist to speak, historian Samuel SALO returned back to the origins of pan-Africanism as well as on the meaning of African Renaissance.

The communications of the speakers aroused a great interest from the participants as shown by the 30 persons who asked for the floor to intervene. Even if the debates were sometimes very passionate, the wisdom of the moderator and the mastery of the theme by the panelists finally got the better of the fieriness of the youth and enabled to properly channel the conference. It was around 6:30 p.m. when the conference ended on a general note of satisfaction from the participants. AU-SAFGRAD thanked one after the other the State of Burkina Faso, the Panafricanist associations, the various communicators and all the participants for their contributions to the success of this historic celebration. Government of Burkina Faso was represented by one of the Technical Adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who has accompanied the President of Faso to Addis Abeba.

This intellectual and inclusive meeting, targeting mainly youth, puts an end to a rich commemorative week of the OAU/AU golden jubilee in Ouagadougou. Festivities were marked by several highlights as the baptism of African Union Place or a country-cross running which gathered thousands of runners. Other activities are already planned throughout the year. They  include the baptism of another square in Bobo Dioulasso, inter-community football tournaments and public conferences throughout Burkina Faso.

More details: Summary report of CBC Meeting targetting Youth (pdf format)


Golden Jubilee of OAU/AU

Golden Jubilee of OAU/AU: AU-SAFGRAD and Burkina Faso Play their parts!

Trio2PlaceUABaptism of a main crossroads as African Union Place, Mobilization of two thousand people for country-cross running in the streets of the capital city, Series of conferences animated by some eminent university professors around the theme « Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance », Round table in prime time on National television broadcasted by satellite to the four corners of the world…, Certainly, the « Land of the Uprights » has set the bar very high to launch the ceremonies for the celebration of the 50th anniversary  of OAU/AU.

The launching of the activities was solemnly done this Monday 20 May 2013 in Ouaga 2000 Banqueting Hall by H.E.The Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Luc Adolphe TIAO in presence of most members of his government including  the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation H.E. Mr Djibril BASSOLE. Many guests including mainly officials, traditional authorities, AU-SAFGRAD staff, African communities living in Burkina Faso as well as many journalists. Among the distinguished guests, was the Diplomatic Corps, mainly composed of Ambassadors of AU State Members.  

African Union Coordinator, Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS was sitting at the presidium.  First to take the floor he emphasized the stakes of OAU/AU golden Jubilee celebration.  He notably recalled the decision taken by African leaders in Addis Ababa in 2012 to make of 2013 the year of the fiftieth anniversary. He returned back on the visionary role of the founding Fathers among which Kwame NKRUMAH, Haile SELASIE, Gamal Abdel NASSER... and Maurice YAMEOGO, first President of Upper Volta, now known as  Burkina Faso. 

After him, the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso and the State Minister BASSOLE came back on the meaning of the event. They recalled the major role played by their country, headed by the President of Burkina Faso, in the process of African integration. Once the various speeches were delivered, therefore, could sound the AU anthem followed by the Ditanyè, the national anthem of the country. Then, the flame of peace was lightened by the Prime Minister TIAO under the cheers of an enthusiastic audience.

But the core of the celebrations was undoubtedly the baptism of the new public square of the African Union. Thus, after the United Nations roundabout, people should now get used to African Union (AU) square. The Pan-African organization from now on, gives its name to an important crossroads at the intersection of two major roads including the one leading to the future major International Airport of the country referred to as Donsin Airport. Another important public place located in Bobo Dioulasso, the second city of the country will be baptized in June. In front of the City Council and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Coordinator of AU-SAFGRAD, Dr. Ahmed ELMEKASS saluted, in the name of the Commission and African Union the important role played by Burkina Faso in the advent of a united, prosperous and peaceful Africa as wished by the founding Fathers in their meeting in Addis Ababa in 1963.

On the other hand, other activities not less important are already secured. Among them a large public conference organized by AU-SAFGRAD on 25 May 2013, targeting the youth and animated by a panel of half a dozen high-level personalities including university professors and women from the civil society. A great gala night called "African Night" is also planned for this Tuesday, 21st May in a large theatre of the capital city.

The capital of Burkina Faso, which is hosting three offices of the African Union among which AU-SAFGRAD established in Ouagadougou for more than 35 years, wants to definitely and fully play its part in this year of the celebration of the OAU/AU Golden Jubilee.

Download the summary (pdf format) here: Activities Golden Jubilee in Burkina Faso


Training course on Climate Change (7-17 May 2013)

AU SAFGRAD is organizing a training course on “The impact of climate change and desertification on agriculture and food security”, 07 to 17 May, 2013, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

The African Union Technical Office for the Promotion of Semi-Arid Food Grain Research and Development (AU-SAFGRAD) is a technical office of the Africa Union located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Its mandate is “to contribute to the advancement of agricultural research, technology transfer and marketing as well as to the management of natural resources by facilitating and coordinating the use of the scientific talents of National Agricultural Research Centers (NARCs), International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs) and Scientific Research Organizations (SROs) to enhance food security, promote sustainable agriculture, development of irrigation agriculture, both in rural and pre-urban areas of the semi-arid zones of Africa”.


One of AU-SAFGRAD 2013 programs is capacity building of African Agricultural Institutions through training. The aim of this program is to strengthen the capacity of young researchers in the agriculture field and raise their awareness on the impact of climate change and desertification on agriculture and food security. In this regard, AU-SAFGRAD in collaboration with the Arab Fund for Technical Assistance to African Countries (AFTAAC) is organizing a training course for 20 young African researchers entitled “The impact of climate change and desertification on agriculture and food security” from 07 to 17 May, 2013 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This training session will be entirely conducted in English language. 


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