Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has been elected the chairperson of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment FILE PHOTO: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - South Africa Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, has been elected the chairperson of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment during the Committee’s meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the department said on Friday.

In her acceptance speech on Thursday, Didiza acknowledged the enormity of the work of the Committee and the Bureau. She also thanked the outgoing chairperson for the good work done during her term.

“The Bureau will need to build on the work done since the inception of the Specialised Technical Committee at the same time take into consideration the decisions of this meeting. We have to work out an action plan, look at the human resource capacity and budget for the programmes that you would have agreed to,” she said.

Didiza also emphasised that the committee look very closely at the issue of climate change and its impact on the agricultural sector. She added that its effects are a reality as other regions are experiencing drought while others are experiencing rainfall.

Specialised Technical Committees of the African Union (AU) are thematic committees and are answerable to the executive council and are also composed of member states ministers and senior officials within their respective areas of competence, according to the department.

They work in close collaboration with AU departments to ensure the harmonisation of the AU projects and programmes as well as coordination with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).  

The Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment focuses on reviewing strategic goals and identifying synergies and linkages, as well as implications for achieving the overarching goals of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared  Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods of June 2014, boosting the agenda for attaining food and nutrition security, reducing poverty, boosting Intra African trade, enhancing resilience to climate change, related shocks and disasters, the department added.

African News Agency (ANA)