African engineers must identify solutions to address food security challenges (OIT President)
24/06/2019 16:58, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) "All engineers on the African continent are called upon today to make greater efforts to identify appropriate solutions to meet the major challenges of food security," said President of the Order of Tunisian Engineers (French: OIT), Osama Khériji.

Speaking at the opening of the international conference on: ""Engineering and food security in Africa", held on June 24 and 25, 2019 in Tunis, was attended by some 300 engineers and experts from several countries: Togo, France, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Lebanon, Libya, etc., he said the event aims to examine the contribution of the various engineering disciplines to the development of agriculture in Africa and the role of technologies in achieving food security and natural resource assessment (water security, renewable energies, etc.).

Creating a platform where the knowledge, innovative ideas, experiences, capacities and results of the work of engineers, scientists and decision-makers as well as those of civil society representatives involved in food security will be discussed, shared and disseminated in order to proclaim, on June 25, 2019, the "Tunis Declaration on Food Security as seen by Engineers".

"This declaration will be a scientific and political reference for decision-makers in African countries to address the challenges of food security in Africa," said Khériji.

For his part, Trade Minister Omar El Behi, stressed the crucial role of engineers in improving agricultural production in order to achieve food security.

In this connection, he called for better supervision and organisation of farmers for better productivity.

According to the Tunisian Order of Engineers, the purpose of this gathering is to draw the world's attention to the fact that the international effort to save Africa from the spectre of hunger should not be limited to financial assistance, but should also extend to scientific and practical support for the economies of these countries and the transfer of successful experiences, with a view to saving future generations from new waves of hunger.

The African continent is facing a very difficult food and health situation: more than 20 million Africans have died as a result of repeated famines that have affected 18 African countries.

Besides, FAO reported in its 2017 report that 237 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are malnourished and the same source warned that famine in Africa is likely to occur in the range of 18-38% as a result of deteriorating food conditions.

FAO also noted that 40 million Africans were at risk of starvation due to new waves of famine. Political conflicts, misguided economic choices, civil wars, serious climate change, droughts, floods, desertification, hurricanes, locust infestations, epidemics, diseases and waste are major causes of famine in Africa.

Several experts from international organizations took part in this event, such as the African Federation of Engineering Organisations (AEFEO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the World Farmers Organisation (WFO), the International Federation of Scientific Councils (ICSU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

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