The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund (ASTF) launched last Thursday here is a concrete manifestation of Africa's willingness to work together to guarantee the food security of the entire continent. The agreements that have been signed since the introduction of the fund in 2013 are integral to Africa's goals for revolution in agricultural productivity and the African Union and heads of state used the opportunity of the 2014 Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa to adopt the resolution of ending hunger by 2025. During last week’s launch of the fund by Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Theo Diergaardt, it was stressed that the fund is Africans for Africans and will bring about positive change for the whole continent. Some of the aims of the trust are enhance urban food security in Central Africa by increasing the availability of locally produced food for people living in towns and cities. The recipient countries are Came roon, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe. Promoting greater diversity in agricultural production and activities to improve nutrition and to offer better job prospects to young people in Eastern Africa. Recipient are countries: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Strengthening controls on food safety, plant and animal pests and diseases to boost agricultural productivity and trade in Southern Africa. Recipient countries are: Angola, Botswana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Creating more and better jobs for young people in West Africa through sustainable aquaculture and Cassava activities. The recipient countries are: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Senegal. The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund was launched in 2013 as a unique Africa-led initiative to improve agriculture and food security across the continent. It includes contributions from Equatorial Guinea ($30 million), Angola ($10 million) and a symbolic contribution by civil society organisations in the Republic of the Congo. Since its inception, the Fund has already provided financing for projects in six countries – Mali, the Niger, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Malawi and now also Naibia– including building resilience in conflict affected rural communities, reducing rural poverty through youth employment opportunities and building best practices to increase crop and livestock production. Next allocation planned will cover a continental intervention to support African rural youth future through the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and a facility for South-South Cooperation from Africa to Africa, to allow a better sharing of knowledge and development solutions within the continent. Administered by FAO in partnership with key collaborators, the Fund aims to pool resources from Africa’s strongest economies and use them across the continent to implement initiatives in the framework of the African Union's Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) to boost agricultural productivity and food security in the region. It is governed by a steering committee currently consisting of Equatorial Guinea, Angola, the Chair of the Africa Group, the Chair of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa, the African Union and the FAO secretariat.
New Era Reporter
2015-04-28 11:58:33 4 years ago