The multi-sectoral stakeholders’ Workshop sponsored by the Government of Japan on Initiatives for Food and Nutrition in Africa (IFNA) ended in Abuja on Thursday, July 27,2017 with a call on participants and stakeholder Organisations to avail themselves of different fora to step down what they had learnt to those who were not opportune to attend the event.

The Workshop, which took place at the NEPAD Nigeria Office, was a collaboration between NEPAD Nigeria and the Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA), which was meant to offer different stakeholders from various Ministries, Departments, Agencies and some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) the platform to discuss and jointly identify the strategic direction of the IFNA Agenda in Nigeria.

Specifically, the Workshop intended to achieve the following:

  1. An accelerated multi-sectoral synergy of the different stakeholder participants in the programme in order to address and drive diverse processes on issues of food and nutrition security in Nigeria;
  2. An accelerated broad-based approach to understanding peculiarities of food and nutrition security on ground in Nigeria with a view to enhancing them for improvement and inclusion of diverse segments of the populace in planning and execution of programmes in the area and
  3. A platform through which the missing links in food and nutrition improvement would be identified in order to make use of potentially effective multi-sectoral packages of action to accelerate positive change in that regard.

Speaking at the Workshop, as part of programmes marking the end of the events, the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu, lauded the initiative of the Government of Japan and its global partners for Africa. She said the issue of food and nutrition security in Africa was a concern that was central to the people’s welfare, which must be on the front burner of national discourses if improvement must be achieved in the area. While calling for more programmes that would foster greater awareness on other critical areas of life for Nigerians and, indeed, Africans, Princess Akobundu, also, stressed the need for the provision of starter-packs to participants at the end of every training workshop.

Also speaking at the event, the Lead Consultant and African Coordinator of the Workshop, Aya Kadokami thanked participants for their maturity and cooperation. She used the opportunity to, also, appreciate the effective roles played by NEPAD Nigeria as part of its contribūutions to their joint efforts. Kadokami expressed willingness to again return to Nigeria in the future, while praying that the ambience of friendship and accommodation, which she had enjoyed in the country since her coming become her lot elsewhere on the African continent.

In her vote of thanks, the Deputy Director (Food and Nutrition) in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs Ronke Gabriel, who spoke on behalf of participants at the Workshop, expressed gratitude to the Organisers of the event. While promising to ensure that the Workshop achieved its intended goals, she said her Ministry would leverage its wide networks to cascade the training they had received to the States and Local Council Areas across the country.

The Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa (IFNA)1 is an intervention programme of the Government of Japan in collaboration with other global partners. The programme was launched in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2016 at the 6th Tokyo International Conference for Africa’s Development (TICAD VI).The IFNA Agenda aims to, among other objectives, establish a framework for collaboration with African governments in order to accelerate the implementation of their food and nutrition policies on the ground with a view to contributing to a comprehensive improvement in the nutrition status of the African continent in line with the Second Sustainable Development Goal and the Malabo Declaration.

Among those who attended the Workshop were representatives of the Federal Ministries of Budget and National Planning, Health, Agriculture and others. Nigeria is one of ten countries where the IFNA programme was scheduled to hold in Africa. The next Workshop shall be held in Dakar, Senegal, early next week.

 

Nkem Anyata-Lafia

NEPAD Nigeria

July 28,2017.

 

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