Extensive consultations in five Africa countries on how best to up-scale climate smart agriculture and the empowerment women farmers and entrepreneurs, has culminated in a Grant support of over US$3 million by the Norwegian Government to the AU’s NEPAD Agency.
At a special singing ceremony in New York, the African Unions Commissioner for Agriculture Mrs Tumusiime Rhoda Peace applauded the agreement as one that addressed issues on Africa’s priority list in pursuing sustainable and inclusive development. She noted that empowering women farmers and entrepreneurs in addressing challenges and opportunities of climate change is guaranteed to have great impact on Africa’s ability to push-back the adverse consequences of climate change especially in rural communities.
Speaking at the occasion attended by Norway’s Minister of International Development Cooperation Mr Heikki Holmas, Ambassadors to the United Nations, and representatives of multilateral organisations, NEPAD CEO Dr Ibrahim Mayaki said that that in addition to ensuring the programmes directly reflected the needs and aspirations of communities, the consultation exercise provided an opportunity to learn about the realities at community level.
Minister Holmas reiterated Norway’s commitment to collaborate with Africa in addressing issues of women empowerment and environmental resilience in the face of climate change, saying that his Government was committed to spending US$1 of every US$100 earned from its oil industry on development support. “It is important that we work with regional institutions to optimise the chances for cross regional learning and sharing of experiences,” he said.
Norway’s support will run to the end of December 2015 and is expected to lead into the design and implementation of a larger and longer term programme on climate change-Agriculture and gender.