China and the African Union (AU) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to have robust collaboration in food safety and security on the African continent.
This came during the visit by a Chinese delegation led by Zhang Wufeng, head of China’s National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, to the headquarters of the 55-member pan-African bloc in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, where the two sides also deliberated on ways forward towards the implementation of the MoU.
The MoU will see the two sides cooperate in areas including food safety and quality, post-harvest loss management, and others in the cooperation framework of the Belt & Road Initiative. The Chinese will also provide capacity building support and share experiences to the AU especially in the implementation of the Africa Comprehensive Agriculture Development Programme.
Zhang has reiterated China’s continued commitment to further enhance the cooperation and partnership with AU.
Speaking on behalf of the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, and also leading the AU delegation during the discussion with the Chinese delegation, Amira Elfadil, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, stated that the AU-China cooperation in food safety and security is another dimension of partnership on the bedrock of the multifaceted partnership between the two sides.
Stating that China and Africa have had very successful cooperation in different areas such as infrastructure, energy and agriculture, the commissioner expressed her optimism that the food security cooperation would come out successful too.
“So, from the experience of the government of China, we are going to agree on the way forward to implement together, how to share experiences, how China is going to support technically and financially the establishment of a new agency for food security in Africa,” she said.
The Chinese delegation led by Zhang also briefly met with the Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, Kwesi Quarty, who has commended China for its continued support to the AU, and to Africa in general.
“It is basically about the Chinese support for Africa on matters related to food security. Food security is the basis for all existence. It is excellent. It is also evidence of many more such intense cooperation to come from China,” he said.