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Nutrition International President and CEO Joel Spicer meets with Her Excellency Ambassador Minata Samate, African Union Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development

Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA – More than 100 stakeholders participated in the 13th Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS) last week. The two-day event, themed Action towards Eradicating Malnutrition and Poverty: An Integrated Approach for Resilient Food, Health and Social Protection Systems, was held at the African Union’s (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on October 31 and November 1.

Four technical sessions were held on the first day. Building on the 13th ADFNS theme, they addressed innovative approaches to agri-food systems, strengthening health systems, enhancing the resilience of vulnerable groups and ecosystems, and strengthening the nexus between human capital development and enhanced resilience against hunger and malnutrition.

The event concluded with a commemoration ceremony on November 1. Nutrition International President and CEO Joel Spicer highlighted the organization’s memorandum of understanding with the AU and committed to working together during the Africa Year of Nutrition and beyond.

“We will serve to support the connection between the AU and Nutrition International by also providing technical assistance as requested by governments at national and subnational levels for them to build capacity, strengthen local systems, and scale up what works according to their own contexts,” said Spicer.

Speakers and panelists at the ceremony included Her Excellency Ambassador Minata Samaté, African Union Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development; Catherine Russell, Executive Director, UNICEF; Dr. Ababe Haile-Gabriel, Assistant Director General and Representative for Africa, FAO; and Stineke Oenema, Executive Secretary of the newly-established UN Nutrition.

Nutrition International was a key contributor to the 13th ADFNS, as a member of the steering committee and a contributor during the technical sessions and commemoration ceremony. Nutrition International also partnered with the World Health Organization to host a side-event on the margins of the ADFNS, Tackling Anaemia in Africa, which called for the AU to generate momentum for addressing anaemia, and the translation of global action plans to regional and local levels.

“I laud Nutrition International for the total commitment and technical leadership in technical sessions,” said ADFNS 2022 Coordinator, Dr. Laila Lokosang. “Nutrition International was present literally in all meetings of the 13th ADFNS Steering Committee and was present physically during the commemoration, with representation from the top leadership and all the way down.”

The hybrid event was attended by a broad range of stakeholder organizations and was hosted by the African Union in close collaboration with UNICEF, the World Food Programme, United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization, World Health Organization, UN Nutrition, Nutrition International, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the African Development Bank, HarvestPlus, the International Potato Center, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, the International Livestock Research Institute, the Africa Early Childhood Network, Amref Health Africa, the Africa Global Health Institute, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Family Health International.