Addressing Africa’s agricultural challenges has the potential, inter alia, to unlock inclusive economic growth, benefit smallholder farmers, boost food production and end hunger.

It is against this backdrop that African Heads of State and Government signed a declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Maputo, Mozambique in July 2003. The Maputo Declaration called for a pan-African flagship programme to enhance agriculture production and bring about food security on the continent.

As a result, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was born with the aim to increase public investment in agriculture by a minimum of 10 per cent of national budgets, and to raise agricultural productivity by at least 6 per cent.

To this date, 44 African countries have signed the CAADP Compact to allocate 10 per cent of their national budgets to agriculture, and 39 countries have formulated national agriculture and food security investment plans

Underpinning CAADP are core principles of the African Union, which include African/local ownership and responsibility, transparency and accountability. Other core values include mutual partnerships, inclusiveness and collective responsibility, as well as commitment to fundamental institutional and policy reforms.

Programmes complementing CAADP are:

  • The African Biosciences Initiative (ABI) – designed to harness biological applications in agriculture;
  • The Agriculture and Food Insecurity Risk Management (AFIRM)Programme that purposes to manage risks related to agriculture;
  • Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) – to accelerate skills development and employment in the agriculture sector;
  • The Climate Change Programme – aimed atstrengthen the resilience of African countries to climate change by building national, sub-regional and continental capacity;
  • The Food and Nutrition Security Programme – aimed at improving nutrition security across Africa;
  • The Fish Governance and Trade Programme – purposing to improve sustainable returns from Africa’s fisheries.

In 2014, African leaders met in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, and recommitted to agricultural transformation across the continent. The Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods (Doc. Assembly/AU/2(XXIII), reaffirms the central commitment of the Maputo era, namely to allocate 10 per cent of public resources to agriculture and continues to uphold CAADP as the main vehicle for its implementation.

The Declaration includes the following goals and targets:

1. Recommitment to the Principles and Values of the CAADP Process

2. Recommitment to enhance investment finance in Agriculture

  • Uphold 10% public spending target
  • Operationalization of Africa Investment Bank

3. Commitment to Ending Hunger by 2025

  • At least double productivity (focusing on Inputs, irrigation, mechanisation)
  • Reduce PHL at least by half
  • Nutrition: reduce stunting to 10%

4. Commitment to Halving Poverty, by 2025, through inclusive Agricultural Growth and Transformation

  • Sustain Annual sector growth in Agricultural GDP at least 6%
  • Establish and/or strengthen inclusive public-private partnerships for at least five (5) priority agricultural commodity value chains with strong linkage to smallholder agriculture.
  • Create job opportunities for at least 30% of the youth in agricultural value chains.
  • Preferential entry & participation by women and youth in gainful and attractive
  • agribusiness

5. Commitment to Boosting Intra-African Trade in Agricultural Commodities & Services

  • Triple intra-Africa trade in agricultural commodities
  • Fast track continental free trade area & transition to a continental Common External tariff scheme

6. Commitment to Enhancing Resilience in livelihoods & production systems to climate variability and other shocks

7. Commitment to Mutual Accountability to Actions and Results

  • Through the CAADP Result Framework - conduct a biennial Agricultural Review Process

The African Union Summit held in Malabo in 2014 also made a declaration on Nutrition Security for Inclusive Economic Growth and Sustainable Development in Africa (Assembly/AU/Decl.4(XXIII). The declaration includes the following commitments:

  • Reaffirmation of the commitment to end hunger by 2025 through strengthening of development policies as an effective investment in the human capital in countries;
  • Commitment to ending child stunting bringing down stunting to 10% and underweight to 5% by 2025 and in particular, focusing on the first 1000 Days as the only window of opportunity during which permanent and irreversible physical and mental damage would be avoided; and
  • Commitment to positioning this goal as a high-level objective in national development plans and strategies, and to establish long-term targets that give all children equal chance for success, by eliminating the additional barriers imposed by child under-nutrition.

To strengthen mutual accountability and achieve the CAADP/Malabo goals and targets, African Member States agreed to report biennially on implementation progress on the two declarations. The first biennial report was presented to the African Union Summit in January 2018.