On 5 July, Spain’s Acting Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, attended IAMZ-CIHEAM's 50th Anniversary Event at the Ministry in Madrid. Mr Planas emphasized the “important role played by IAMZ in the area of education and research” and highlighted the number of professionals trained at IAMZ who are now in senior positions in many different countries. He also pointed out that IAMZ’s intense activity needs to be disseminated more widely, especially the training activities such as Master of Science programmes or advanced courses such as the one held recently on ‘Xylella fastidiosa’.
In his welcoming speech, IAMZ Director, Javier Sierra, recalled that over these 50 years of history, more than 15,000 leaders of the agrofood sector –mainly from Mediterranean and Latin American countries– have been trained at IAMZ, a centre of excellence offering continued and postgraduate training and coordinating international projects as well as a consolidated programme of transboundary research networks. “For Spain, this Institute has attained top level international recognition, and is a key instrument for a country occupying one of the highest positions in the world ranking of exporters and in the production of wine, olive oil or fruit, besides being one of the world’s biggest consumers of seafood”.
CIHEAM Secretary General, Plácido Plaza, reiterated his support of the idea of triangular cooperation with Africa, and referred to the Mediterranean as an “essential interface for EuroAfrican relations, where CIHEAM, with its decades of experience, is at the disposal of States and their partners to strengthen cooperation schemes with subSaharan countries”.
On the other hand, Mohammed Sadiki, President of CIHEAM Governing Board, stressed the role of this intergovernmental organization which “true to its training and research mission, works through its Institutes on issues which contribute to tackling structural problems in the Mediterranean region, especially climate change, migrations, youth employment or empowerment of women”.
The event was also attended by Juan Sainz Herrero, Assistant Director-General for Bilateral Economic Relations and Economic Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, and Cristina Miranda Gozálvez, Deputy Head of the Unit ‘Global issues and relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries’ at the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development in the European Commission, who explained the agenda for the new Africa-Europe Alliance and its future challenges.
Likewise, former students Monia Ben Kaabia, PhD in Economics and lecturer at the School of Economics and Business of the University of Zaragoza, and Eduardo Berges, Regional Director for South Europe and North Africa at DSM Nutritional Products and CEO of DSM Iber, addressed all participants and explained the impact that their studies at IAMZ has had on their professional career.
CIHEAM has worked closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for more than 40 years and José Graziano da Silva, FAO’s Director General participated in the event with a message of greeting via video broadcast.
Photo gallery of the event: shorturl.at/vwJQX