July 16, 2015 - The African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency hosted a high-level roundtable on “financing Africa’s Malabo Commitments on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation yesterday, June 15, at the AUC headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The roundtable, taking place in the margins of the United Nations’ 3rd Financing for Development Conference, was organized with the aim to facilitate dialogue and consultations among key stakeholders constituencies including senior leaders from government, the private sector, development and technical partners on the financing of agricultural transformation specific to achieving the agriculture transformation goals and targets set in the African Union Malabo Declaration.
Speaking during the roundtable, the Deputy Chairperson of the AUC, H.E Erastus Mwencha underlined that agriculture is the sector that can respond greater to development challenges in Africa. Mr Mwencha also highlighted the urgent need to improve domestic resource mobilisation to ensure a sustainable agricultural development plan on the continent.
AUC Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Economy, H.E. Rhoda Tumusiime acknowledged the pivotal role of agriculture in the revitalisation of African economies. In order to fully take advantage of its potential, “it will be critical to move from a subsistence-oriented towards a more market-oriented sector”, she said. In that regard, one of the most critical enablers of that objective is to mobilise financial recources, which has been the missing link of the African agricultural transformation during the past years. Mrs.Rhoda Tumusiime reiterated the readiness of the AU to work with relevant partners towards ensuring that the Malabo commitment of enhancing investment finance for agricultural growth will be realised. She further pointed out the necessity for co-leadership, ownership and active participation of the private sector to facilitate a constructive dialogue aimed at enhancing investment in agriculture.
NEPAD Agency Chief Executive Officer H.E. Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, underscored that Malabo had changed the way of doing business in agriculture. “African countries have become more assertive in articulating and identifying their needs and priorities. Malabo is proof of this,” he said. The CEO underscored that the framework proposed a new economic model beyond agriculture policy that would depend on good governance and political will. He specifically pointed out that Malabo was a bottom-up strategy for African people, “as they are the main actors for Africa’s transformation.” He cautioned that while African countries had improved their capacities in mobilising resources, there was need for increased harmonisation and coordination of African-led initiatives at global levels, and providing an enabling environment for the private sector.
Mr. Laurent Thomas, Assistant Director General of the FAO, reaffirmed the commitment of his organisation to support the AU in achieving the Malabo Declaration objectives. In view of the Post-2015 development agenda, he emphasised that the aim of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda was to end poverty and hunger. “Here in Africa, you are clearly in front of this process, already galvanizing the political commitment needed to achieve these goals.” Mr Thomas further noted, that through the Malabo Declaration, “Africa has already firmly established the road map to achieve these hunger and poverty goals at the center of the African agenda, with the objective to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by 2025.”
Mr Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director General of Europaid, reiterated partners full support to the Malabo goals and targets set by African Heads of State and Government in July 2014. He emphasised that “existing mechanism must be used to improve coordination, transparency and reciprocal accountability mechanisms of the various financing sources to reach the Malabo goals.”
Others who spoke at the roundtable highlighting some of their key programmes aligned to support Member States to deliver on the Malabo commitments included AGRA President, Dr Agnes Kalibata; USAID Administrator, Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhart; AfDB Director Agriculture and Agro industry Department, Mr. Chiji Ojukwu; IFAD President, H.E. F. Nwanze Kanayo; World Bank Senior Programme Leader, Mr. Andrew Goodland; Equity Bank Chief Executive Officer, Dr. James Mwangi; JICA Vice President, Mr. Mr. Kiyoshi Kodera and WFP Deputy Executive Director, Mr Amir Mahmoud AbdullaAbout the Malabo Declaration on Africa Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation
African Union Heads of State and Government adopted the Malabo Declaration on accelerated agricultural growth and transformation in June 2014 at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly. Through the Declaration, African leadership reiterated its commitment to the principles and values of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) process. CAADP is an AU initiative to accelerate agricultural growth, improve food security and strengthen the resilience of the environment in Africa. Implemented by NEPAD, the Programme aims 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.
The Malabo Declaration contains seven key commitments covering the 2025 vision and goals of Africa’s Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation, which are as follows:
- Recommitment to the principles and values of the CAADP
- Recommitment to enhancing investment finance in agriculture
- Commitment to ending hunger in Africa by 2025
- Commitment to enhancing agriculture’s contribution to economic growth and significant poverty reduction by half by 2025
- Commitment to boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services
- Commitment to enhancing resilience of livelihoods and production systems to climate variability and other related risks and
- Commitment to mutual accountability to actions and results through the CAADP Result Framework – conduct a biennial Agricultural Review Process