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The African - Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) and COMESA will re-activate a memorandum of understanding signed between the two organizations to cooperate on all matters of common interest that arise in the field of agricultural and rural development issues.

The MoU which was signed in 2005 sought to establish partnership in the promotion of youth and women in the agriculture among other areas.

Pursuant to this objective, Assistant Secretary General of AARDO Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh visited the COMESA Secretariat and met Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya, Director of Gender and Social Affairs Mrs. Beatrice Hamusonde and gender and youth experts.

The two agreed to reactivate the pact with clear and defined action plans that will ensure the involvement of the targeted beneficiaries with COMESA and AARDO playing a facilitative role.

“If we are to succeed with the youth, for example, we have to get the youth to say what they want to do and target those that are already involved in agricultural activities,” the Secretary General said.

They agreed on the need to conduct a mapping exercise in the coming months to identify the youth involved in agriculture, and interventions that can empower them. In addition a regional meeting targeting member States belonging to both COMESA and AARDO will jointly be held in November 2017 on youth empowerment. 

The meeting will bring youth experts and youth representatives to review implementation of the COMESA Youth Programme, the African Union Road map on the implementation of the 2017 Theme, ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth’. The meeting will also address the raise awareness on the UN-Women ‘He for She’ Campaign and the Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa. 

Dr. Nardeosingh said an exchange of experts Programme from different Member States is part his organization’s activities.

Formed in 1962, AARDO is an autonomous inter-governmental organization comprising 31 members from Africa and Asia. It is currently involved in youth entrepreneurship and leadership programmes in eight COMESA countries comprising Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Sudan and Zambia.