Following the opening speech by CEO/Head of Mission of FANRPAN delivered his opening speech at the FANRPA Annual Dialogue, participants were addressed by Chairperson of FANRPAN Board of Governors, Prof Sidi Osho.
After observing all protocols Prof Osho said he was honored to welcome all participants to the 2020 FANRPAN Annual Policy Dialogue.
“You will agree with me that 2020 has been a trying year; the COVID 19 pandemic has stretched us all to the limit. The COVID-19 pandemic is considered as the most crucial global health calamity of the century. We a blessed that no lives were lost among our Network members. May the soul of those that died as a result of COVID 19 rest in perfect peace. Amen,” said Prof Osho.
Prof Osho said that as a result of the pandemic a new challenge has emerged, that of shifting of priorities to focus more on food, agriculture and natural resources.
“Whilst the attention on the pandemic is unjustified, the onus is on us in the sector to project and promote an agriculture and food systems lens in all the interventions to the pandemic. With all that has happened, I am encouraged by your commitment. It is commitment that has driven us all to be in attendance here, in this dialogue, away from our other pressing commitments,” said Prof Osho.
She continued: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the theme of this dialogue, “Building Better and Resilient Agriculture and Food Systems” is aligned to our aim to transform the continent’s agriculture sector.”
She said that the theme sets the stage for all participants to contribute to our continental efforts to achieve the CAADP/Malabo Declaration commitments.
“In that vein, I cannot over-emphasize the role and importance of partnerships, first for FANRPAN as a network; and Secondly because the task at hand calls for collective effort. To that end, I extend a warm welcome to our partners, especially those currently engaged in joint programming with us; CARE International, University of Leeds, OXFAM, GiZ, IDRC, SDC/Helvetas, and others I may not have mentioned. I thank you for the collaboration.”
Prof Osho said she notices commitment across the entire FANRPAN network, the national nodes and the Regional Secretariat.
“Despite the pandemic and its associated risks, and the restrictive measures imposed to control it, I am glad to see your commitment in maintaining our tradition of annual dialogues bearing fruit. I applaud your efforts. This virtual is in response to the prevailing situation. Bad as it may, the pandemic has woken us to the reality that we can ‘converge’ anytime without travelling! This is the new normal, and I urge FANRPAN to fully exploit its convening powers to ensure that there are active platforms across the continent to drive policy processes,” she said.
She continued: “distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, at this juncture, I would like to declare this dialogue officially opened, and invite all of you to engage and contribute towards the search for recommendations to transform our agriculture, food systems and its value chain; with the hope of developing a sustainable agricultural and food systems in order to reduce poverty and ensure food security and nutrition for all and future generations. I welcome again and thank you for listening.”