JAKARTA, 10 May 2017 – The ASEAN Secretariat hosted the first day of a week-long World Bank South-South Exchange Visit yesterday. It was a meeting-dialogue between the ASEAN Secretariat and delegations from each of the four sub-regional institutions in Africa, namely Common Market for Eastern & Southern Africa, East African Community, Inter-Governmental Authority for Development, and Southern African Development Community. This exchange visit is part of a broader regional programme designed to identify and assess common challenges and opportunities for enhancing regional cooperation on El Niño preparedness and response and strengthening food systems resilience against future climate shocks in East and Southern Africa.

In his Opening Statement, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs Department, Dr. AKP Mochtan touched on, among others, the  parallels between ASEAN and East and Southern Africa, and how ASEAN’s own development journey, including its Vision 2025 work-plan, can be of learning relevance to the African sub-regions.  DSG Mochtan reiterated that the path towards achieving ASEAN Vision 2025 requires support and cooperation, not only from member governments and sectoral bodies, but also through bi and multilateral-cooperation, engaging not only those from within the region but beyond.

The meeting-dialogue  marks the first time that ASEAN has engaged the various sub-regional associations from Africa, over a panel-discussion format, to discuss cross-sectoral issues, such as food security, climate change and disaster risk reduction. During the discussion, the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Centre of Biodiversity and the African sub-regional associations shared their respective frameworks and initiatives, and how to work together to address the common challenges arising from efforts to address these issues.