June 28, 2010 – ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, and MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala., United States – The African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding today at the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Her Excellency, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, the AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, and IFDC President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Amit Roy represented their respective organizations at this important event.

The Memorandum of Understanding formalizes the collaboration between the AUC and IFDC in their mutual goal of transforming African agriculture. The organizations will work together on technical assistance missions dealing with policy and market development and there will be an exchange of information on agricultural, economic and social development issues.

In her statement on behalf of the AUC, Her Excellency, Commissioner Tumusiime, said, “We remain committed to forging and managing strategic partnerships in support of the efforts of our Member States in taking the agricultural and environmental agenda forward.”

The AUC is part of the African Union, Africa’s premier intergovernmental organization, representing 53 independent states. The Organization of African Unity was established in 1963 and became the African Union in 2002.

“The Commission and IFDC share the same vision for African agriculture – a transformed agricultural sector that provides the basis for sustainable growth and prosperity, food security and poverty reduction on the African continent,” said Roy to the invited guests.

Dr. Oumou Camara, IFDC scientist – economist, is seconded at the African Union Commission headquarters and works closely with the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture.

IFDC is a public international organization addressing critical issues such as international food security, the alleviation of global hunger and poverty, environmental protection and the promotion of economic development and self-sufficiency. IFDC is committed to soil fertility management and agricultural development in developing and transitional economies. The non-profit Center was established in 1974 in response to the food and energy crises affecting the world at that time. To date, IFDC has provided assistance to more than 100 countries.

Funded by bilateral and multilateral donors, IFDC’s headquarters are in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (USA). IFDC has two divisions in Africa: the North and West Africa Division (NWAFD), headquartered in Lomé, Togo; and the East and Southern Africa Division (ESAFD), based in Nairobi, Kenya. There are currently IFDC projects in 23 countries on the African continent.

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