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Celebrating South-South cooperation, partnerships to address food security and poverty

Through South-South cooperation, countries across the global South are successfully exchanging technical expertise and building innovative partnerships that, if strengthened, can continue to play a crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

This was the message on the opening day of a three-day event in Kampala, Uganda, marking the 10th Anniversary of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme and Triangular Cooperation.

Supported by China, the programme has benefited more than 70,000 people directly in 12 developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The theme of the 10th Anniversary event is “Inspiration, Inclusion and Innovation” as the programme reflects on its achievements and looks to the future.

“The success of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme is not limited to technical transfer, capacity building and engagement of rural working women and youth through working together hand in hand,” said Abebe Haile-Gabriel, FAO's assistant director-General and Regional Representative for Africa.

“What is even more noteworthy is its catalytic impact - inspiring other countries to join hands with FAO in the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition as well as poverty.”

Officials and experts gathered at the Kampala event to discuss the results, innovations and lessons learned from the first 10 years of the FAO-China SSC Programme and to develop a new vision for the future. The digitalisation of agriculture and use of digital platforms to assist farmers and producers are a priority as well as financial services to help the rural poor increase their incomes and move out of poverty in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Abebe Haile-Gabriel said it was critical to attract greater private sector investment and generate more involvement from developed and developing countries.

“Impact can be achieved at scale only when national governments, both in recipient and provider countries, have the capacity to identify, map, document and disseminate good practices,” he said.

He said FAO had also set an ambitious target of creating up to 200 partnerships with academic and research institutions to foster technical exchanges and capacity-building.