AU SAFGRAD Steering Committee (SC) for year 2021 successfully held virtually

AU SAFGRAD Steering Committee (SC) for year 2021 successfully held virtually

The 9th Steering Committee (SC) meeting of AU-SAFGRAD was held on the 18th of November 2021. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic the meeting took place virtually like the one of 2020.

The attending institutions of the AU SAFGRAD 2021 Steering Committee meeting included: AU-HRST (Chair), AU-DARBE (former AU-DREA), AU-WGDD, AU-SEAFDF, AU-STRC, AU-IAPSC, COMESA, EAC, ECCAS – CEEAC, ECOWAS, IGAD, UMA, FARA, CCI-BF  (BURKINA FASO), AU-SAFGRAD (Secretary). In the end, around thirty people representing the statutory institutions of the Steering Committee as well as representatives of AU-SAFGRAD including the Coordinator (Secretary of the Steering Committee) virtually took part in this important annual statutory meeting.

Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS, the Coordinator of AU-SAFGRAD, started the SC by welcoming warmly the members and thanking them for their participation despite their busy agenda. After self-introduction, Dr Mahama OUEDRAOGO, of AU-STRC and Chairperson of the SC delivered the opening remarks. He notably highlighted in his statement the sustainable historic background of AU-SAFGRAD since its establishment in 1977 to address the challenges of drought and related hunger that affected the semi-arid zones of Africa.

After the opening remarks, the Chair presented the agenda of the meeting and requested from the participants its discussion and adaptation. The recommendations and minutes of the precedent SC were presented, discussed and adopted by the meeting after taking into consideration few comments made by some representatives. AU-SAFGRAD Coordinator also presented the achievements of AU SAFGRAD 2021 programmes as well as the planned programmes of year 2022. These two presentations were followed by discussions coming from the attendees. They generally pleaded for a strengthening of synergies between AU SAFGRAD and partner institutions, especially those existing within RECs.

Responding to the various interventions, Dr. Ahmed Elmekass, AU-SAFGRAD Coordinator, thanked all the participants for their observations and recommendations as well as the Chair for the valuable contribution and underlined the importance of making improvement. He assured the steering Committee that AU-SAFGRAD will do the necessary efforts to meet the recommendations.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Mahama OUEDRAOGO in his capacity of the Steering Committee Chair congratulated AU-SAFGRAD for the good achievements. He praised the good organization of the meeting and finally thanked all the participants for their brilliant attendance.

A group photo, made virtually, closed successfully the 2021 AU SAFGRAD SC meeting with the satisfactory appreciation of all the participants, including the staff members.