African Union member states pledge to champion the Africa Agriculture Transformation Scorecard as a tool for shared learning and accelerating agriculture transformation

Dates: 
February 13, 2019

African Union member states pledge to champion the Africa Agriculture Transformation Scorecard as a tool for shared learning and accelerating agriculture transformation

Addis Ababa, 13th February ,2019: The Republic of Rwanda and African Union Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, hosted a high level side event on the Africa Agriculture Transformation Scorecard (AATS) at the margins of the February 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.

The event themed, ‘Africa Agriculture Transformation Scorecard (AATS) as a tool for shared learning and driving progress and accelerating Agriculture Transformation on the continent,’ explored the power of the scorecard to trigger transformation in Africa’s Agriculture and launched a platform of African Leaders for Agriculture Transformation to provide the required leadership to permanently shape and position the sector at all levels for Africa to maximize investments in Agriculture.

The event was graced by the President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Botswana, H.E Mokgweetsi Masisi, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E Saad-Eddine El Othmani, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E Demeke Mekonnen, AUC’s Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E Amb. Josefa Sacko, African Development Bank President, Dr. Akin Adesina, AUDA-NEPAD CEO, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, ministers and other senior government officials from AU member States.

Other participants included the Deputy Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization, Ms. Maria Helena Semedo, President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Dr Agnes Kalibata, CEO of Equity Bank, Mr. James Mwangi and representatives of development partners, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, representatives from Pan African parliament and Civil society.

Discussions centered on the Malabo Declaration, Biennial Review mechanism and scorecard and participants agreed on the following:

Ø The meeting noted with high satisfaction the biennial report presented by African Union commission during the January 2018 AU Summit and requested AUC and partners to strengthen Member State capacity for data collection, analysis and reporting. With quality of data, Members will be able to make informed decisions and accelerate implementation; sharing experience through the scorecard will fasrtrack collective advancement towards meeting the Malabo goals and targets.

Ø The meeting noted that Africa is not on track on many Malabo commitments. The meeting reiterated the role of RECs in removing regulation barriers by harmonizing laws and policies to allow accelerated adoption of technologies by farmers to increase crop productivity. It is not efficient to conduct similar research on varieties for countries and regions with similar agro-bio-climatic conditions. The focus should be put on investing in advisory services to accelerate technology transfer and stimulate adoption;

Ø Africa is currently faced with the effects of climate variability and change which leads to soil degradation and drought and therefore jeopardizes the continent’s agricultural productivity. Against this backdrop, Climate Smart Agriculture becomes one of the possible approaches that not only increases the resilience of agricultural production systems but also reduces the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. In this regard, the meeting proposed to invest in agriculture climate smart and risk management programs to allow farmers to build resilience against climate change.

Ø The meeting noted that only a few member states are meeting the 10% Malabo commitments for public investments in Agriculture. The meeting reiterated the need for governments to put in place a conducive environment for private sector investment in Africa. The private sector should take an active role in data collection tracking domestic and foreign investments in Agriculture.

Ø The meeting reiterated the need to take advantage of the recently launched Africa Free Trade Area to invest in special economic zones to allow for accelerated agriculture industrialization. This will require a holistic and multi-sector approach to ensure job creation for youth and women and to produce enough food for feeding Africa and the rest of world;

Ø The meeting pledged continous support for this key and strategic sector to ensure inclusive growth and shared prosperity.

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Member States present at the meeting further commended the AUC and partners involved in the data collection process of the first biennial review and pledged to be even better involved in the next phase. There was a strong call from Members States to take the discussion beyond a side event, and that the discussion should involve all Heads of State and Government, given the importance of agriculture in Africa.

Development partners, in particular AfDB, FAO and Bill and Melinda Gates pledged their assistance toward the second biennial review slated for release in 2020.

The 2014 Malabo Declaration and recommitment to the principles of CAADP on agriculture transformation by African Heads of State and Government heightened the importance of the agriculture sector as a driver towards shared prosperity and improved livelihoods. They committed to ‘Mutual Accountability to Results and Action’, and innovatively agreed to a biennial review of agricultural progress made against the Malabo Declaration. The Inaugural Biennial Review (BR) Report and Africa Agriculture Transformation Scorecard adopted by the January 2018 AU Heads of State and Government Summit now offers a unique tool for shared learning in order to accelerate agriculture transformation on the continent.

The platform of Leaders for Agriculture Transformation which was launched during the high level event will champion the agriculture transformation agenda. At the national level, the champions will provide leadership to encourage performance improvement and prioritization of the agriculture sector as a driver of inclusive economic growth and shared prosperity. They will also provide regional leadership by encouraging high level peer review of agricultural performance that, in turn, encourages accountability, raises awareness and improves policy, partnership and resourcing. Continentally, the champions will provide leadership, in support of the AU CAADP Leader (Ethiopia), to encourage substantive high-level peer review of agricultural performance. Globally, the champions will provide leadership, advocating for Africa’s agriculture, and raising awareness of CAADP and the Biennial Review process.

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For more information contact:

Dr Godfrey Bahiigwa,

Director

Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture

BahiigwaG@africa-union.org

Communications Contact:

Ms. Carol Jilombo

Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture

Jilomboc@africa-union.org