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Statement by the ACP Secretary General at the 43rd Brussels Development Briefing on Emerging Donors and Rising Powers in Agriculture in ACP countries, 27 October 2015, Brussels

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I thank the CTA for inviting the Secretariat to deliver an opening remark at this important event where the issue of “Emerging donors and rising powers in agriculture in ACP countries” will be discussed. 
 
Furthermore, I wish to acknowledge the efforts of the CTA on the regular organization of the series of Policy Briefings on the important issues of agriculture and rural development, targeting ACP countries. The wider coverage and participation of stakeholders in the series of briefings on agriculture and rural development is most commendable. 
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
It is a known fact that for a large number of ACP countries, agriculture remains the single most important sector. It is also projected that this sector will remain the largest single occupation for the foreseeable future in the rural communities of our member states. Consequently, to ensure food security and meet the nutrition requirement of our population in ACP countries, agriculture and food security must be viewed from an entrepreneurial and business venture perspective. To achieve the important objective of our member states being food and nutrition secure, there is the need to explore and take advantage of other complementary sources of support with less conditionalities and “strings attached” for the agricultural sector.
 
An important source that could not be overlooked is the network of emerging powers and donors that are ready to cooperate with our countries in the agricultural development sector. This type of cooperation had been fashioned to the now popular South-South and Triangular Cooperation. 
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
South-South Cooperation as we know it, is the mutual sharing and exchange of key development solutions including knowledge, experiences and good practices, policies, technology, know-how, and resources between and among countries in the global south. Triangular Cooperation on the other hand involves partnerships between two or more developing countries along with a third partner, typically a traditional resource partner and/or multilateral organization.
 
South-South Cooperation (SSC) is now playing a greater role than ever before in tackling food and nutrition insecurity. Global demand for southern development solutions that have been tested and proven effective is at an all-time high. A vivid example is the expanding cooperation of BRICS with countries in Africa based on the principle of equal partnership, mutual benefits, solidarity, non-conditionality, and experience sharing. This has made the South-South Cooperation a cost-effective means to share development solutions and enhance capacities. 
 
For instance, China and Brazil are increasingly playing the role of   emerging partners in Africa.  China had been involved in the implementation of food security programmes, while the Zero Hunger programme and the Programa Mais Alimento which formed the basis of the Programa Mais Alimento África that also includes a credit line facility for African smallholder farmers to gain access to agricultural inputs, notably machinery and new technologies had been the flagship cooperation facility of Brazil in Africa.
It is becoming increasingly evident that in terms of achieving food security, poverty reduction and sustainable agriculture, South-South and Triangular Cooperation could advance knowledge management and networks, con-necting South-South solution providers with seekers; create enabling envi-ronment by mobilizing broader partnerships and resources; and facilitating upstream policy support including policy dialogue and knowledge sharing among policy-makers.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
Without consuming much of your time, I belief the eminent members of the two panels who will review the key challenges and opportunities of South-South cooperation in agriculture and showcase examples of successes in South-South and triangular partnerships across ACP countries are more than competent to address these issues. The expectation is that discussions in today’s briefing will enhance our appreciation of this phenomenon and encourage us to take advantage of its flexibility for the benefit of ACP agricultural development.
 
I thank you.
 
Dr. Patrick I. Gomes
ACP Secretary General
 


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