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Rural Development

Rural Development

The achievement of the Agenda 2063 Goals is at the center of sustainable development in Africa and the reform of the African Union Commission. Sustainable Rural Development is vital to the economic, social and environmental viability of nations. It is essential for poverty eradication since global poverty is overwhelmingly rural. The manifestation of poverty goes beyond the urban-rural divide, it has sub-regional and regional contexts. It is therefore critical, and there is great value to be gained, by coordinating rural development initiatives that contribute to sustainable livelihoods through efforts at the global, regional, national and local levels, as appropriate.

Mandate of the Division

To facilitate the formulation, adoption, advocacy and implementation of continental-level frameworks and guidelines for policy development and implementation in key sectors including Agribusiness Development, Post-Harvest Loss including Food Loss and Waste, Pastoralism, Rural Infrastructure, Sustainable Land Governance, Expanded entrepreneurship for youth and women and competitive value chain and agro industry development.
Objectives of the Division

Lead in the development of policy, frameworks for empowering rural producers, which will lead to improved rural incomes, livelihoods, creation and expansion of rural wealth. This will be achieved through promotion of value addition, income diversification and improved market access.

Delivery Model of its Mandate

Develop policies, guidelines, frameworks and programmes and support their domestication at Regional Level and Implementation at National Level. The Division works closely with the Environment, Climate Change Land and Water Management Division within the Department and other Specialized Technical Offices of the Department such as SAFGRAD and IBAR to ensure synergy in the implementation of the Division’s programmes.

Functions of the Division

  • Develop continental policies and frameworks and ensure coherence with other continental sectorial policies and frameworks.
  • Promote and follow-up continental initiatives and strategies for improving the living space and quality of life for rural people;
  • Promote the diversification of the rural economy so as to increase employment and incomes;
  • Contribute towards the expansion of export markets for agricultural products;
  • Collaborate with other specialized technical agencies/Divisions of the department.
  • Facilitate the formulation, adoption, advocacy and implementation of continental-level frameworks and guidelines for policy development and implementation in key sectors including Agribusiness Development, Post-Harvest Loss including Food Loss and Waste, Land Governance, Pastoralism, Rural infrastructure, Agri-value Chain development and market access.
  • To collaborate with RECs in their efforts towards the harmonization of initiatives to eradicate poverty and alleviate conditions faced by rural communities, such as those pertaining to infrastructure and energy, rural women, processing of agricultural products by small-scale producers;
  • Develop and coordinate implementation of strategies to reduce post-harvest losses

The Department has recently developed what is now commonly known as the CAADP-Malabo Business Plan 2017 – 2021. Within this plan the division is focusing its priorities on Enhanced Post-Harvest Management including Food Loss and Waste, which has led to the development of a Continental Post Harvest Management Strategy- The first of its kind on the Continent. The Division is also deeply engaged in the development of Agri-Public-Private-Partnerships by strengthening and facilitating dialogues amongst key sectorial stakeholders and undertaking studies on Agri-PPP investments. The Division is also:

  • Facilitating and coordinating the implementation of the AU Declaration on Land issues and Challenges including the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy Development.
  • Supporting the implementation of the AU Policy Framework on Pastoralism that will help address specific issues facing pastoralists, thereby contributing to social, economic and political developments in Pastoralists areas in Africa. The Division in collaboration with partners is building the capacity and improving the adaptation of Pastoralists’ resilience to Climate Changes and risk management within the broader implementation of the AU Policy Framework on Pastoralism in collaboration with the Environment, Climate Change, Land and Water Management Division.
  • The Division is also collaborating with the Peace and Security Department on Pastoralists’, Farmers and Herders Conflicts resolution also within the broader framework of implementing the action plan of the Policy Framework on Pastoralism.
  • The Division is coordinating the development of a Rural Infrastructure Policy Framework to improve value-addition, rural employment, productivity and enhanced market access and incomes, including agro-processing and value addition for improved productivity and rural incomes.
  • The division is also currently facilitating the establishment of a Continental Agribusiness Apex Body Platform.


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