President Ramkalawan's message for Africa Day |25 May 2022
‘Only in unity can we make progress toward the sustainable and prosperous future we all desire’
“Fifty-nine years ago, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), today known as the African Union, was created. The celebration of Africa Day commemorates an important act and symbol of solidarity and unity in Africa.
“This year's theme is: ‘Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthening Agro-Food Systems, Health and Social Protection Systems for the Acceleration of Human, Social and Economic Capital Development’.
“As a result of the Covid-19 global health crisis, as well as the war in Ukraine, African countries’ health and food supply chains are facing unprecedented challenges. The UN Food Systems Summit in 2021 emphasised that food security and nutrition are key to a healthy future. When governments and stakeholders work together, we can find solutions to our food system’s challenges and make it more sustainable and equitable.
“The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents an opportunity to boost food security on the continent. By reducing trade barriers and promoting intra-African trade, the AfCFTA can help to improve access to food and nutrition for all Africans. It is important to implement agricultural and food-based strategies to improve the entire food system since agricultural production plays a critical role in food security.
“Seychelles is fortunate to have food sources from both land and sea. While fish is one of our daily staples, we remain vigilant about the risks associated with overfishing. As a small island developing state, our natural resources remain limited, particularly in the agricultural sector. Consequently, we must guard against overreliance on imports to meet our food needs. The emphasis must remain on self-sufficiency and local production so that present and future generations can benefit from access to nutritious food as part of our food security policy. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has played a crucial role in this regard.
“In commemorating Africa Day, my government commits to continue striving to ensure a high quality of life for its citizens in terms of access to food and nutrition. Only through a united effort can we make progress toward the sustainable and prosperous future that we all desire.
“I wish you all a Happy Africa Day!”
President of the Republic of Seychelles