FAO partners diaspora group on migration and rural development in Africa

04 Apr 2019, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria

Summary

The partnership with the Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform will promote awareness on the connection between migration, agriculture and rural development, and the opportunities associated with rural migration.

José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organisation

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has signed a partnership agreement with the Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT) to enhance the positive contribution of migration to the areas of agriculture and rural development.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the high-level event on Food and Agriculture in Times of Crisis in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday. According to the FAO, the agreement marks the beginning of a formal collaboration in the areas of migration and rural development, with a focus on diaspora-related issues and agribusiness.

Under this partnership, FAO and ADEPT will work together to promote awareness on the connection between migration, agriculture and rural development, and the opportunities associated with rural migration. The two organisations will also combine their technical knowledge and capacity to increase diaspora engagement, focusing on agribusiness and resource mobilisation.

“We tend to underestimate the power of the diaspora in peace, development, humanitarian and, of course, around migration issues,” said Daniel Gustafson, FAO’s Deputy Director-General. “We are signing this Memorandum of Understanding with ADEPT today (April 3) to work more closely together and give visibility to the potential diaspora holds, and also to what is already happening with the diaspora communities.”

ADEPT is an international non-profit based in Belgium that supports and empowers African diaspora development organisations based within the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. ADEPT serves as a point of reference for those interested in African development issues, migration and development policy while helping to formally involve African diaspora groups in development processes in Africa.

According to FAO, the activities of the partnership will contribute to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably, Goal 2: zero hunger; Goal 8: promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all; Goal 10: reduce inequality within and among countries; and Goal 17: revitalising global partnerships for sustainable development.

“Migration is a development driver generating positive change at the local and international level,” Khady Sakho Niang, ADEPT’s President, said. “The African diaspora is one of the key actors of this process, bringing about financial, intellectual and social contribution. We hope the FAO-ADEPT cooperation will enable us to join energies, knowledge, networks and expertise in two interlinked areas – migration and agriculture – for the benefit of the African people and continent.”

FAO also noted that migration is closely linked to its goals of fighting hunger, achieving food security, reducing rural poverty and promoting sustainable use of natural resources. Its expertise in the areas of capacity development, policy support to governments and rural institutions, agribusiness, value chain and food system development naturally compliments ADEPT’s experience in engaging diaspora organisations around migration-related issues.