African Union Special Envoy for Food Systems Dr. Mayaki Visits Japan: Toward Building a Sustainable and Resilient Food System


From November 27, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, Special Envoy for Food Systems of the African Union (AU), visited Japan to have discussions with JICA on the building of food systems in Africa. During a week of his stay in Tokyo, he also visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to share the current situation and challenges of the African food systems, and to request cooperation for building sustainable and resilient food systems. He actively communicated the need for reform of the food systems in Africa by visiting international and domestic organizations and speaking at lectures.

Dr. Mayaki had a meeting with JICA Senior Advisor Mr. Kubota and members of the Economic Development Department on the first day.

JICA has been a strong partner with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) since Dr. Mayaki was a CEO of the agency. JICA has deepened its partnership by engaging in the programs including the Africa Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa (IFNA), the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), the Africa Kaizen Initiative (AKI), Home Grown Solutions (HGS), and so on. During his visit to Japan, JICA and Dr. Mayaki visited relevant organizations to discuss the transformation of food systems in Africa, and to confirm the strengthening of cooperation for future efforts.

On the last day, discussions were held between Dr. Mayaki and Mr. Ando, JICA senior vice president, with the members of JICA Africa Department.

On December 1, the last day of the visit, JICA senior vice president Mr. Ando met with Dr. Mayaki to review the week-long visit and discuss future initiatives and strengthening of cooperation toward TICAD9, which will be held in Yokohama in 2025. After the meeting, a special seminar by Dr. Mayaki was held for JICA staff, where he explained the long-term Action Plan for Food Systems and Infrastructure development in Africa toward transformation of food systems. He introduced key elements of the Action Plan, including policy and institutional reforms, infrastructure investment for distribution, improvement of production systems, and human resource development.

Many JICA staff including the ones from offices in Africa participated in the special seminar.

At the seminar, in response to a question from a participant on how we can engage young people and encourage them to take up farming as an important job in Africa, where population growth is remarkable, Dr. Mayaki responded, "In order to increase the number of farmers, it is important that farming is recognized as a profitable occupation. To make this happen, it is important to make it easy to access to the finance that will be the source for taking up farming.” It was a fruitful discussion for the participants to exchange views with Dr. Mayaki on how to realize the transformation of the African food systems.

JICA will continue to work as a partner in Africa to build sustainable and resilient food systems.

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