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Strengthening regional and cross-border trade, one of ASSECAA’s recommendations to Arab-African governments


Sep 28, 2022

BUJUMBURA September 27th (ABP) – Strengthening regional and cross-border trade was one of the recommendations made on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, in Bujumbura, by members of the Association of Senates, Shouras and Equivalent Councils of Africa and the Arab World (ASSECAA) towards Arab-African governments.

It was during the closing of the activities of the 9th meeting of that association, which lasted two days, from September 19 to 20, 2022 with the objective of discussing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian war.

ASSECAA also recommended to Arab-African governments to redefine the concept of Arab-African security and to include food security as one of the components, to reconsider the concept of food security which has still not been a priority in the agendas of international organizations or bodies, with a view to achieving food self-sufficiency for all Arab and African countries by increasing the level of production and developing staple crops.

According to the members of ASSECAA, there is a need for Arab-African governments to explore the possibilities and opportunities for Arab and African food integration in order to improve food security in the countries of the region. There is a need to invest in joint agricultural projects given the availability of huge financial surpluses, vast arable land, diverse resources and experiences in several areas related to the food production process that lacks integration, they said.

Other recommendations of ASSECAA to Arab and African governments are, among others, to prepare a series of measures to deal with the consequences of the current global rise in the prices of basic food products as well as fuel prices, to diversify the sources imports of food, especially wheat, set up a research and information center to promote exchanges of information between Arab-African countries, and increase domestic production and reduce imports.

To those recommendations already cited are added the extension or increase of social protection systems so that each person can enjoy their rights to an adequate standard of living (including the right to food and the right to security social security), investment in the agricultural sector to secure the needs of countries and not make them vulnerable to sharp variations in market prices due to various political or economic shocks, as well as to take advantage of the current crisis (Covid-19 and the Russo-Ukrainian war) to establish and activate strategic partnerships and use each other’s capacities and opportunities to ensure food and energy security in Africa and the Arab world.

It is also a question of developing light and medium manufacturing industries by relying on countries that have experience in this field, mobilizing investments to collectively tackle the causes and consequences of food crises, act together to deal with the problems of importing basic necessities and to establish alternative supply chains as well as adopt measures to minimize the negative impacts in the event of economic sanctions.

Arab and African governments were also recommended to ensure that the prices of basic necessities remain accessible to all, to create a mutual aid mechanism in the event of a humanitarian crisis, to rethink the cooperation policy adapted to the global context of the present time and to take the initiative to improve diplomatic relations with the powers as well as to learn how to consume local products to give them more value.

The members of ASSECAA continued their exchanges by recommending to the governments of their respective countries to do everything in their power to weigh on the international chessboard by exploiting, as a good father, the riches of the subsoil, the soil and the facilities offered by the climate in the production of food for food self-sufficiency, to become aware of the concepts of political, economic and cultural independence, without forgetting to make more efforts to share the financial, technological and health resources available home to alleviate addiction.

Finally, the Arab and African governments were recommended to put in place urgent measures to support farmers in the rural world because, added the ASSECAA members, experience has shown that it is thanks to peasant agriculture cities have survived during the confinement, to adopt a common policy of regular consultation on health policy issues, to increase the budgets allocated to health and research to promote Arab-African medicine, and to help each other between the ASSECAA countries to carry out agricultural projects together and thus have enough food.

It should be noted that the members of ASSECAA are committed to strengthening the parliamentary diplomacy of the member countries of ASSECAA, to participate in the inter-parliamentary meeting session to be held in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2022 and to collaborate to write the own history of their respective countries.