The African Union (AU) has declared support for an inclusive agricultural plan that seeks to transform the sector for increased growth to create wealth, improve livelihoods and eradicate poverty.
The AU’s decision comes after the initiation of a Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) process by non-state actors to drive a robust agriculture-led social and economic growth and tackle poverty as well as reduce hunger.
“The AU will continue to play a leadership role in rallying players around CAADP, advocating for increased and more effective public and private sector investment in agriculture,” Mrs Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, said on Monday.
Mrs Tumusiime said the Union would back efforts to create alliances and partnership for more investments in the sector while providing accountability mechanisms and improving policy making processes for agricultural transformation on the continent.
The Commissioner made the declaration in a speech read on her behalf at the opening of a joint New Alliance and Grow Africa stakeholders meeting.
The meeting sought to provoke deliberations that would lead to a robust and private sector investment in the agriculture sector for food security, nutrition and lift many people from poverty.
“Let me reiterate the commitment of the AU Commission to support the implementation of the Malabo Declaration in a more inclusive way through partnerships and alliances with key stakeholders,” she said.
The Commissioner expressed gratitude to development partners and technical institutions for supporting the African agriculture agenda adding that it had shown productive results in alleviating poverty in the continent in recent years.
The Union endorsed the CAADP in 2003 with the aim of addressing issues relating to food insecurity, nutrition and poverty by pledging at least 10 percent of their annual budget to agriculture but CAADP Non-state actors Coalition in a meeting over the weekend reported that only six to seven countries met the target.
This culminated in renewed commitment by leaders in a summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinean in 2014 to adopt another 10-year accelerated agricultural growth and transformation plan for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods dubbed the “Malabo Declaration.”
The plan seeks to attain the Malabo Declaration commitments of member states to transform Africa’s agricultural finance landscape and reshape the policy environment and ensure inclusive access to finance to empower women and youth.
The Declaration also showed renewed commitment to innovative delivery of financial services, value chain finance and boosting partnerships for accelerated development.