On 17 May 2022 was the final day of the official visit H.E. Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet, Director General of the Islamic Organization of Food Security (IOFS), that has been conducting to the Republic of Niger, which was marked with a number of high-level bilateral meetings with members of the Nigerien Government, including Their Excellencies Mr. Alambédji Abba Issa, Minister of Agriculture; Ms. Garouza Magagi Salamatou, Minister of Industry & Youth Entrepreneurship; Mr. Adamou Mahaman, Minister of Hydraulics and Sanitation, and Mr. Ali Bety, Minister and High-Commissioner to the 3N Initiative (Nigeriens feed Nigeriens), with whom issues of mutual concern and interest were discussed, particularly the need of strengthening cooperation between the Republic of Niger and the IOFS in the relevant domains under the responsibility of each Minister.
However, it should be underscored that during the meetings, the hosts were unanimous in pointing out the irrigation had been chosen as the number one priority for developing the water sector for agricultural development and food security of Niger. In this context, the IOFS was requested to accordingly cooperate with the country to ensure that relevant projects would be implemented in the referred sector to which the Director General gave his consonance for the fact that the priority chosen was in line with Water Management in Agriculture Programme of 3 Pillar of IOFS Strategy 2031.
Another important request came from Ms. Garouza for the IOFS to closely work with her Ministry towards improving the technological know-how of agricultural initiatives of young nigeriens from rural areas, particularly young women, as their entrepreneurial spirit is being hampered by the archaic means that they have at their disposal. In this context, the Minister proposed the establishment of a system of small grants to ensure that such developed start-ups would be more advanced to be an important engine for youth employment and progress of Nigerien rural areas.
Separately, the Director General led the IOFS Team for wider consultations with the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), headed by H.E. Mr. Abdoulaye Mohamadaou, CILSS Executive Secretary, to review the excellent ongoing bilateral cooperation that has, so far, been materialized with the holding of Capacity Building for 70 Farmers on Water Management in Agriculture, on 16-17 May 2022 in Niamey, Republic of Niger, organized within the framework of celebrating of “2022 IOFS Year of Africa”, as well as the Joint Action Plan for further activities in 2022 and 2023, including the the Workshop on Agricultural Database Development for Better Policy Making and Ensuring Food Security that starts tomorrow until 19 May 2022, again in Niamey, with participation of 14 representatives of common IOFS and CILSS Member States.
The last function that the Director General attended was an official dinner offered in his honour by Ms. Khadija Diallo, in her capacity as Director General of the High Authority of Waqf in Niger (HAWAQF), with the participation of H.E. Mr. Hamid Algabid, HAWAQF Chairman and Prime Minister of Niger from 1983 to 1988, as well as Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from 1989 to 1996, Members of National Assembly of Niger, Members of Nigerien Government, including Ms. Garouza Magagi Salamatou and Mr. Ali Bety, and representatives of governmental Agencies active in the field of SMEs and agriculture database.
It is important to note that throughout the meetings in reference, the Director General was assisted by Mr. Sofian Ben Mouaddeb, Senior Country Manager, and Mr. Abdula Manafi Mutualo, Senior Liaison Officer.