Jul. 17, 2013
AUSTRALIA AND CANADA JOIN FORCES TO IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICA
ACCRA, Ghana - Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC) today are launching a call for concept notes for the Cultivate Africa's Future (CultiAF) initiative, a 4-year, CA$15 million research partnership designed to combat hunger in sub-Saharan Africa by harnessing the potential for innovation among the region's smallholder farmers, the majority of whom are women.
The announcement, made at the 2013 Africa Agricultural Science Week conference, represents a significant investment in research that will help promote food security in Eastern and Southern Africa by tackling persistent problems such as post-harvest losses, malnutrition, poor product quality, and inefficient water use. Managed by IDRC, and funded equally by IDRC and AIFSC, CultiAF contributes to Canada's and Australia's commitment to combat hunger, food and insecurity throughout the developing world.
"Sub-Saharan African agricultural productivity is the lowest in the world. This program will support research to find more effective ways to increase productivity and food security," says IDRC President Jean Lebel. This strategic partnership between IDRC and ACIAR will promote the use of existing science and technology expertise. "Canada's IDRC is pleased to partner with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to advance ideas and innovative breakthroughs that increase food security through practical science for development," added Mr. Lebel.
"Australia and Canada prioritize food security as a key element in our aid agendas, and recognize the untapped potential of innovation for smallholder farmers in helping food reach those who need it," says Mellissa Wood, Director of the Australian International Food Security Centre, which leads and funds ACIAR's involvement in the CultiAF partnership.
Under the Call, research organizations from 10 countries - Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe - are eligible to compete for grants of up to CA$3 million dollars each.
Winning collaborative research projects should help smallholder farmers reduce post-harvest loss of crops; improve yields and livestock productivity through better water use; and improve nutrition. Resulting innovations are expected to be of use to other parts of Africa and will support national and regional food security efforts on the continent.
CultiAF builds on Canadian and Australian leadership in research innovation and food security throughout the world.
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WTO WELCOMES AUSTRALIA'S DECISION TO REJOIN WTO
The World Tourism Organization (WTO) on Thursday warmly welcomed the Tourism White Paper launched by the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, and expressed satisfaction at Australia's decision to rejoin WTO.
The World Tourism Organization congratulated the Australian Government on the publication of its Tourism White Paper and warmly welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister John Howard of a 235 million Australian dollar funding package to implement the proposals it contains.
"The White Paper and the Prime Minister's statement are the culmination of a process of integrated and consultative forward-looking planning," said WTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli. "WTO strongly advocates interactive cooperation between tourism stakeholders and governments as the foundation of any successful tourism industry. Australia's Tourism White Paper is an excellent example of such a productive partnership, ably engineered and led by Small Business and Tourism Minister Joe Hockey".
"The announcement by the Prime Minister," continued Mr Frangialli, "confirms the Australian Government's recognition of the growing importance of tourism as a leading force in the service sector that is set to drive the world economy over the next few decades. It constitutes a clear message from the Australian authorities that they award a high priority to tourism and are committed to raising the capacity and performance of their already successful tourism industry to new and higher levels".
"Mr. Hockey must be congratulated on his vision and perseverance in initiating and leading this process to its completion. As a government tourism strategy paper the Australian document has undoubtedly raised the standards and set new benchmarks. The Tourism White Paper will be widely studied and will influence thinking and policymaking in many countries".
Mr. Frangialli added: "The World Tourism Organization is particularly happy and proud to welcome Australia back to full membership. It is a most appropriate time for Australia to return to WTO, a worldwide intergovernmental body which has now been granted the status of a specialized agency of the United Nations. This decision, taken by the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 7 November 2003, is a clear recognition of the importance and value of tourism. It firmly places tourism on an equal footing with other principal activities of human society such as agriculture, education, health, industry, culture and labour - all of them already represented in specialized agencies of the UN."
"We welcome Australia back in the Organization as a key player and one of the leading counties in Asia-Pacific - the fastest growing tourism region in the world. As a member of WTO, Australia will be able to influenceinternational thinking and policymaking and contribute to the sustainable
development of tourism in fields where it has demonstrated leading-edge
knowledge and experience. Finally, Australia will also benefit from the
international interaction with tourism decision makers from around the
world and the specialized assistance offered by WTO to its Members," stated
the Secretary-General in conclusion.
For further information contact:
Rok Klancnik/Alla Peressolova, WTO Press and Communications Section,
email@example.com, Tel. (+34) 91-567-8191, (+34) 91-567-8193,
Fax: (+34) 91-567-8218, www.world-tourism.org