The First Forum on China-Africa Agricultural Cooperation (FOCACA) was convened in Sanya, Hainan Province, on 9 Dec 2019. As the biggest event on agricultural cooperation between China and Africa, FOCACA was jointly held by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) and the Hainan Provincial Government. Over 500 delegates from China and 39 African countries as well as nine international organizations attended the forum. Mr. Han Changfu, Minister of MARA, delivered a keynote speech during which he called for enhanced multilateral and trilateral agricultural cooperation.
The Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) was invited to the forum and a Triangular Cooperation Seminar organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA) in Africa, the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (FECC) of MARA, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
Mr. Hagen Ettner, German Director of the CSD, joined the panel discussion on demand-driven and scalable technology transfer and knowledge sharing. He introduced how German Development Cooperation can create synergies and add value to China’s efforts in supporting agricultural development in Africa through triangular cooperation.
With summarization of Sino-African cooperation mechanisms and practical examples being one of the outcomes of FOCACA, the seminar added to it a trilateral angle through cases of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Food Programme, World Bank, AGRA, German Development Cooperation as well as companies. The AGRA Board Chair, Agriculture Ministers from Uganda, Senegal and Mali, the Director General of FECC and representatives from Chinese academia contributed to the discussion.
Both in efforts to support Africa in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, in particular Goal 2 to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and in promoting sustainable agriculture, objectives and interests of the CSD and FOCACA are aligned. With financial contributions from the German government and the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme, Germany, China, and FAO envisage to join forces in promoting sustainable agricultural development and combating climate change in Kenya, through a triangular project on carbon-neutral tea value chains. The triangular project is expected to start in 2020.
The FOCACA this year approved the Sanya Declaration on China-Africa Agricultural Cooperation, and further built Sino-African consensus on agricultural cooperation. MARA signed memorandums of understanding on cooperation with the African Union Commission and AGRA. Relevant government departments, international organizations, and research institutes as well as enterprises also signed 11 pragmatic cooperation agreements.
At the invitation of H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the CSD also attended the Breakfast meeting on African Agricultural Transformation Leadership on the next day of the forum organized by AGRA.