20 April 2022, Geneva, Switzerland - UNITAR and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently signed an agreement to deliver a joint online course on Trade, Food Security and Nutrition for officials from Eastern and Southern Africa. This is an updated version of the same course delivered in 2019 which generated a great interest across the region. 

The increasing need for trade experts to support trade related development agenda in the region has posed a major challenge. National and regional institutions need to develop technical capacity and resources to map out national, sub-regional and regional level trade priorities and constraints; to empirically assess the implications of their multiple memberships on trade, food security and nutrition; to formulate appropriate mitigation policies and strategies; or to negotiate trade agreements that boost gains from trade and specialization.

This course therefore seeks to strengthen capacities in Eastern and Southern Africa, to develop and implement evidence-based trade policies, and to formulate and negotiate trade agreements, taking into consideration both their needs for economic growth and structural transformation, as well as their food security and nutrition concerns.

This course is designed to assist representatives from government and related authorities, who are directly involved in the formulation and implementation of agricultural policies and programmes in Eastern and Southern Africa. These may include officials from Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock; Ministries of Trade, Commerce, Industry; Ministries of Finance, Economy; and Food Safety, Sanitary, Phytosanitary, Veterinary and other authorities.

Ensuring that trade supports food security

Through the 2014 Malabo Declaration, African governments made a specific and clear commitment to boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services, and to harnessing market and trade opportunities locally, regionally, and internationally. This is increasingly regarded as a means to promote agricultural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), since it can help address the key challenges to agricultural development in the region such as diverse agro-ecological systems, and small national markets.

In this context, the relationship between trade and food security is attracting increased attention on both the trade and the development agendas. The eradication of global hunger by 2030 is a key goal in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and trade is recognized as one of the means for achieving the SDGs. The challenge is how to ensure that the expansion of agricultural trade works for and not against, the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. This challenge has been at the forefront as governments’ struggle to negotiate the changes to the current global agreements on agricultural trade that are needed to ensure that trade results in enhanced food security.

Register today, deadline is 13 March 2022. Limited slots are available

This course is offered free of charge as part of FAO’s support to Member countries and will be organized in three units and conducted in Enlish language over a period of four weeks. This course will be delivered online via UNITAR’s e-learning platform and will take place from May 23 to June 17, 2022.

Limited slots are available and will be subject to a selection process conducted by FAO and UNITAR, taking into account in particular, the geographical distribution and gender balance. Priority will be given to policy makers and practitioners who develop agricultural and trade policy, as well as experts in the field of food security who are involved in the discussion and formulation of policies in this area.

A UNITAR-FAO Certificate of Completion will be issued to participants who successfully complete all course-related assignments and assessments.

For more information and online registration, please visit UNITAR’s website at: Registration deadline is May 13, 2022 or while slots are available. Please register early. Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

About the UNITAR-FAO Partnership

Over the past eight years, UNITAR's collaboration with FAO has continued to grow with over a dozen of agriculture and trade-related courses developed and delivered for the benefit of over 1,000 beneficiaries globally with a large part coming from Africa and Central Asia. 

About FAO

FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. The goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active and healthy lives. With over 194-member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. For more information, visit

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