Burundi and Ethiopia to Sign CAADP Compacts

Published on 10th August 2009

Agricultural experts, policymakers and representatives from Africa and the international community, will convene in Bujumbura, Burundi and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from August 24-25, 2009 and August 27-28 2009 respectively, for roundtables culminating into signing the African Union (AU)/ New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) Compacts.

 

The purpose of the CAADP roundtables, to be hosted by the Governments of Burundi and Ethiopia in conjunction with COMESA, is to reach consensus among key stakeholders on the countries’ agricultural development agendas, forge the necessary partnerships to implement them and secure commitments and resources from partners to make the necessary investments.

 

CAADP’s agenda reflects a fundamental shift in the way Africa’s leadership looks at agriculture and its potential contribution to ending poverty and hunger. The program is the centerpiece of efforts by African countries to achieve growth and poverty reduction in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

 

“The large majority of the people in our region derive their livelihood from agriculture, therefore it is important to urgently conclude plans that will ensure increased productivity and incomes,” says outgoing COMESA CAADP coordinator Cris Muyunda.

 

Dr. Muyunda, who is Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa CEO, says that concluding the CAADP Compacts is the surest way to ensure that the COMESA region reaches MDG1 of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. The main objectives of the CAADP roundtables are to:

 

• Review how national policies and investments are supporting agricultural development;

 

• Identify constraints to achieving the six percent target growth rate for the agricultural sector, and identify policy and investment gaps;

 

• Design action plans to bridge identified gaps and agree on the necessary resources and capacity to implement the plans; and

 

• Adopt mechanisms to coordinate efforts, monitor, and evaluate a country’s progress and performance.

 

CAADP was established in July 2003 and its overall goal is to “Help African countries reach a higher path of economic growth through agriculturally-led development, which eliminates hunger, reduces poverty and food insecurity, and enables expansion of exports.”

 

CAADP is the highest policy level framework for the development of agriculture in Africa. COMESA has the mandate to implement the CAADP agenda in Eastern and Southern Africa. While the majority of the citizens of COMESA derive livelihood from agriculture, the sector’s overall productivity is low. The main challenges to enhanced agricultural development and competitiveness in COMESA are market-related challenges, technological obstacles and policy constraints that lead to low agricultural productivity resulting in food insecurity.

 

The CAADP framework is a growth-oriented agricultural development agenda, aimed at increasing agriculture growth rates to six percent per year to create the wealth needed for rural communities and households in Africa to prosper. In order to ensure that COMESA’s regional agricultural development programmes are CAADP compliant and to assist member States target the agreed objectives of reaching MDG 1, delivery of 10% of national budgets to agriculture to attain a sustained 6% sector growth rate is required. To achieve this goal, CAADP focuses its interventions in four key pillars to achieve measurable outcomes:

 

• Pillar 1: Extending the area under sustainable land management and reliable water control systems;

 

• Pillar 2: Improving rural infrastructure and trade-related capacities for market access;

 

• Pillar 3: Increasing food supply, reducing hunger, and improving responses to food emergency crises; and

 

• Pillar 4: Improving agriculture research, technology dissemination and adoption.

 

Crosscutting issues common across the four pillars targeted for interventions include capacity strengthening for agribusiness; academic and professional training; and improving access to information for agricultural strategy formulation.

 

Burundi and Ethiopia will be the second and third countries respectively, in the COMESA region to sign the CAADP compact after Rwanda, which signed in March 2007.

 

Courtesy: CAADP.


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