Parliamentarians from 11 Eastern African Countries Gather in Nairobi to Discuss Food Security
Parliamentarians from 11 Eastern African countries are coming together in Nairobi for a regional meeting to discuss the urgent issue of food insecurity and malnutrition. This gathering is organized by the Eastern Africa Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (EAPA FSN) and marks their 5th General Assembly, taking place at the Mövenpick Hotel.
The primary goal of this alliance is to make food security and nutrition a central focus on the political and legislative agendas of Eastern African countries. This assembly in Nairobi will revolve around exploring legal aspects and parliamentary actions that can strengthen the connection between climate actions and the transformation of food systems in Eastern Africa.
It’s worth noting that even though the Eastern Africa sub-region is home to less than 25% of the sub-Saharan African population, it harbors more than half of the food-insecure and undernourished individuals on the continent. Recent reports indicate that over 134 million people, which is 28% of the global figure, suffer from undernourishment in this sub-region, and millions of children under the age of five are stunted.
In an effort to combat this alarming situation, Members of Parliaments from ten Eastern African nations (Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda), as well as the East Africa Community (EAC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), initiated the EAPA FSN in 2019.
The assembly will also serve as a platform for members to share their experiences and accomplishments from the past years of EAPA FSN’s operations. Distinguished speakers at this event include Moses Wetang’ula, Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya, Adan Haji Yusuf, EAPA FSN Chairperson, and David Phiri from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
EAPA FSN previously held its fourth General Assembly in Kigali in December, where members expressed their concerns about Eastern Africa being a global hotspot for high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. They called upon national governments to intensify their efforts to change this bleak reality.
Donatille Mukabalisa, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of Rwanda, emphasized the gravity of the food security and nutrition situation in the region. She suggested that by reevaluating strategies and approaches to agricultural development, significant improvements could be achieved.