PAP and FAO conclude consultations on the draft Model Law on Food Security and Nutrition

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have wrapped up the second regional consultation on the draft Model Law on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) in Africa. The objective of the virtual consultative workshop was to present the draft Model Law on FSN to parliamentarians, government officials and CSOs that work in the areas of FSN to gather comments and build consensus on its content.

The draft Model Law stems from a resolution of the PAP plenary in November 2018, mandating the PAP Committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment (CREANRE) and the Pan African Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (PAPA-FSN) to lead the formulation of a Model Law on FSN in Africa for its consideration. In October 2019, the CREANRE presented a draft Model law on FSN in Africa to the PAP plenary, which was subsequently approved and authorized for regional consultations.

On 27-28 November 2019, the first regional consultation on the draft Model Law, which brought together parliamentarians and representatives of relevant ministries from Eastern and Southern African countries and Representatives of the AU Commission and PAP, was held in Kampala, Uganda. The second phase of consultations held virtually, gathered participants from national parliaments, relevant government ministries and CSOs working in the areas of FSN in Central, North and West African countries and experts from the African Union, PAP and FAO.

Hon. Bouras DJAMEL, Acting President of the PAP said that PAP has successfully established the necessary structures, within its capacity, to address the issue of food and nutritional security at the continental level. The Acting President also emphasized that the rationale behind developing the draft model law on FSN in Africa is that food and nutritional security policies and frameworks that are anchored on legislation are relatively more effective, and foster sustainable improvement of Food and Nutrition Security.

“One of the key organs in this regard is the Pan African Parliamentary Alliance on Food and Nutrition Security (PAPA-FNS) which was established in October 2016 to coordinate and assist efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular; goals that relate to the eradication of poverty, achieving zero hunger, good health and well-being at the national and regional level in Africa. We appreciate the consistent support of the FAO in developing this model law which will serve as a basis for African countries to formulate their national legislations and policies FSN,” said Hon. Djamel.

Hon. Kone DOGNON, Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment told participants that the inputs gathered during this second consultation will be used to revise the draft Model Law before it is sent to the African Union Policy Organs for their further consideration and adoption.

“We are delighted that this Model Law will move to the next stage on its way to be adopted by the PAP plenary. This represents a milestone and we hail the technical support from FAO and our collaboration with the New Partnership for Africa Development Agency (NEPAD), and the AU Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA), for the formulation of the draft Law,” said Hon. Dognon.

Technical and legal experts from the PAP and FAO presented the content of the Model Law during the virtual consultative meeting, which was marked by presentations, general brainstorming sessions, discussions and feedback sessions to gather inputs from participants.