Address by Minister Paradis: Launch of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Cooperation Framework

November 12, 2013 - Dakar, Senegal

Good day, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you for those introductions.

I am honoured to be here today with:

  • Madame Prime Minister of the Republic of Senegal;
  • His Excellency, the Minister of Agriculture;
  • His Excellency the Ambassador of Great Britain
  • And the Honourable representatives of the African Union and of IFPRI

Senegal and Canada have a long-standing development cooperation relationship.

We are very proud to have developed close ties with Senegal over the years.

That is one of the reasons why I am honoured to be here today for the official launch of Senegal's New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Cooperation Framework.

Food security is a priority for Canada and for Senegal.

By making a decision to join the New Alliance, you are confirming that you are committed to improving food security and nutrition for your people.

As your National Agricultural Investment Program illustrates, food security and nutrition are key objectives of your development strategy.

Canada is proud to support Senegal's efforts—alongside other G‑8 members, development partners and the private sector—to develop and implement its cooperation framework.

I would also like to recognize the efforts of the United Kingdom, as co-chair of the New Alliance, and USAID, which have helped mobilize private sector engagement, as well as the leadership of Grow Africa and the African Union.

We will continue to work together to ensure that the foundations being laid today create prosperity that is shared by all of Senegal's people.

I am especially pleased that the members of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System were able to join us today.

This organization is a leader in its field, providing its partners with analyses, data and tools to support the implementation of national agricultural investment plans, including Senegal's.

I hope that today's launch will strengthen synergies among partners, including NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa's Development.

The New Alliance has made some progress since it was created last year during the G‑8 Summit at Camp David.

Canada feels it is a particularly important initiative because it is an innovative way to get the private sector involved in African agriculture.

The cooperation frameworks formalize some financial commitments and the private sector statements of intent.

To date, the results have been promising.

The launch of Senegal's Cooperation Framework has attracted more than four billion dollars in investments for New Alliance members.

The investors include more than 100 national and international companies that have made a commitment to boost the productivity and income of small-scale African farmers.

To date, a large portion of the investments made in Senegal has come from Senegalese companies.

Many of them are small and medium-sized enterprises.

That is very encouraging.

And so, with that in mind, we are launching Senegal's Cooperation Framework today.

This innovative mechanism will be a key to mobilizing all partners and encouraging the private sector to invest more to:

  • create the right environment for financing farm operators; 
  • reduce stunted growth in children by improving nutrition; 
  • improve the agricultural industry's productivity and competitiveness to ensure food security.

I believe that Senegal's inclusion is an important step in ensuring the overall success of the New Alliance.

That success will depend on three things.

Ensuring that women are at the forefront of any action taken under the New Alliance.

Setting up an accountability framework to honour our commitments, properly allocate our resources and obtain the desired results.

Inviting African countries to make the New Alliance their own so that Africa's agricultural growth will be inclusive.

Canada is committed to working with its partners so that the momentum created today will lead to the development dividends that we all hope to see.

We share Senegal's vision:

  • healthy and prosperous families;  
  • a robust economy that creates jobs;
  • independent communities.

This vision is at the heart of our relationship.

We intend to continue to work together to make this vision a reality.

Thank you.