IITA Goodwill Ambassador Olusegun Obasanjo discusses agricultural transformation and security with DRC President Félix Tshisekedi

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Former Nigerian President and IITACGIAR Goodwill Ambassador, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, recently visited Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Félix Tshisekedi on 22-24 August 2022, at the presidential palace “Cité de l’OUA”. Their discussions covered high-profile themes, including the Agenda for the Agricultural Transformation of the Democratic Republic of Congo (ATA-DRC), an initiative of the Head of State, which the Ministry of Agriculture began implementing in February 2022.

IITA-CGIAR and the African Agricultural Leadership Institute (AALI) provide technical assistance to the ATA-DRC program, which aims to transform DRC’s agro-silvopastoral and fishery sectors into competitive but environmentally sustainable ones. The multimillion-dollar project enables DRC to focus on reviving its agricultural production, particularly food crops, such as beans, cassava, maize, soybean, and rice, among other food crops.

During the visit, the former Nigerian President used the opportunity to congratulate President Tshisekedi on his accession to the presidency of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Chief Obasanjo, a long-time friend of DRC, also discussed security problems in the eastern part of the country, particularly how it affects food and nutrition security in the region. He noted that efforts and interventions to improve the agricultural sector would be in vain if the nation continues to be at war.

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