ACP Symposium to Focus on Empowering Women and Youth

BERLIN | BRUSSELS (IDN) – The 79-nation ACP Group’s secretariat is joining hands with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN to focus on South-South and Triangular Cooperation to achieve development goals that were adopted by the international community in September 2015 in Agenda 2030.

One such critical goal is rural development that reinforces women and youth empowerment by way of creating jobs and encouraging entrepreneurship. With this in view, the African, Caribbean and Pacific group’s secretariat is organising a symposium in Brussels on February 11-12, under the theme: Integrated Rural Development: Strengthening Women and Youth Empowerment through Jobs and Entrepreneurship.

“This symposium will aim to advance the ACP’s strategic priorities for women and youth in agriculture and rural areas using a sustainable food systems approach, and mobilise South-South (SSC) and Triangular Cooperation (TrC) as key mechanisms for delivering on this agenda,” the 79-nation group’s secretariat said in a statement.

Partners in the symposium are, in addition to FAO, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).

Participants in the symposium will be national government representatives from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. They will hear presentations and take part in discussions led by keynote speakers and high-level experts.

They would highlight how developing countries in the South offer a myriad of development solutions – knowledge, experiences and good practices, innovative policies, technology, know-how, and resources – that have proven cost-effective and have huge potential to be up-scaled for the benefit of other countries in the South within the framework of South-South cooperation.

“SSC is complementary to north-south cooperation and in many cases involves a more developed partner in the equation, resulting in Triangular Cooperation (TrC), which also has a critical role to play,” says ACP Group Secretary-General Dr. Patrick I. Gomes.

The ACP secretariat expects participants to be able to share best practices and identify priority areas for up-scaling practical solutions, at the policy, institutional and grassroots level that place women and youth at the centre of development in all its multifarious aspects.

The symposium will also chart the mechanisms through which SSC and TrC can support the exchange and transfer of the best practices in the priority areas identified, including sessions on:

– Skills development and enhancing institutional capacity
– Access to technology
– Access to efficient business services.

“South-South Cooperation is playing a greater role than ever before in the international development cooperation landscape and innovation in the South is generating new tools and partnerships for tackling issues of food insecurity, poverty and sustainable agriculture,” notes the ACP secretariat. [IDN-InDepthNews – 5 February 2016]

Image credit: ACP Press

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