40 members of the Pan-African Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (PAPA-FSN) are engaged in an intensive two-day capacity building workshop from 1st to Saturday 2nd March at the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, ahead of Committee Sittings.

The session is meant to strengthen and consolidate capacities of parliamentarians to position food security and nutrition, as well as the right to adequate food, at the forefront of political and legislative agendas at both regional and national levels.

President of the Alliance, Hon. Stephen Julius MASELE said the session was urgent, crucial and would pave way for efficient delivery of a model law that would ultimately be made to remedy the crisis.

“Approximately one person in four in Sub-Saharan Africa and one in five on the continent have suffered from chronic food deprivation in 2017. The overall situation of food security and nutrition (FSN) in Africa continues to worsen. We are consequently obliged to reflect and review policies and legislation with the aim to achieve zero hunger,” 4th Vice-President of PAP Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira said in his opening remarks this morning.

On the other hand, the FAO has commended the working partnership with PAP and pledged more support to the activities of PAPA-FSN and national parliaments to reinforce the work of the recently formed Alliance that came as a response to a call to find innovative ways of managing the mounting food security challenge.

“If we are to meet the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals and achieve zero hunger by 2030, cooperation among different actors is mandatory. With their legislative, budgetary and oversight roles, together with their influence on public opinion, parliamentarians have a fundamental role in ensuring that people are able to feed themselves in dignity” says Francesco PIERRI, FAO Representative in South Africa.

Facilitated by both the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) the training will put an emphasis on themes that include; legislating for the right to adequate food; nutrition and sustainable food systems for healthy diets; gender and social policies; access to and control of productive resources; responsible investments in agriculture and food systems; budgeting to achieve zero hunger and partnering for resource mobilization. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss the way forward towards the adoption of a regional model law on food security and nutrition.