AU determined to ensure agricultural transformation driven by citizens

The 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government is underway this week in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea with the theme, “Transforming Africa’s agriculture for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods, through harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development.”

On Wednesday, African Union Commission Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, Commissioner, H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, engaged with the media and discussed building self-reliance towards the realization of the 2063 agenda on food and nutrition security and the theme of the Summit.

The Summit is also significant as it is also being held in the 2014 AU Year of Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security and the commemoration of the 10 year anniversary since the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was adopted.

It is expected that the AU Leaders will commit to the resolutions endorsing seven Africa Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation Goals (3AGTGs) for 2025 that were adopted by the AU Joint Conference of Ministers of Agriculture, Rural Development, Fisheries and Aquaculture meeting, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 1st to 2nd May 2014.

The joint conference recommended among other things the need to enhance Public-Private Partnerships and Investment Financing for African Agriculture and called on stakeholders to establish and/or strengthen inclusive public-private partnerships for at least five (5) priority agricultural commodity value chains with a strong linkage to smallholder agriculture and to strengthen the capacities of domestic apex private sector intermediary institutions for inclusive facilitation and coordination to ensure engagement of the private sector in CAADP implementation.

Briefing the press, Mrs. Tumusiime said the AU is determined to ensure that agricultural transformation is driven by its citizens as the continental body’s aspirations is to have a food and nutrition secure and poverty free citizenry that is prosperous.

“Africa needs sustainable transformation and inclusiveness through agriculture to benefit both the present and future generations, it also requires more innovative technologies, public and private investment to be able to mobilise resources for inter-Africa trade”, she said.

She further informed the media that building resilience to reduce vulnerability of Africa’s citizens is one of the key components of Africa Agenda 2063,”A shared Strategic Framework for inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development,” which also targets the most vulnerable in society, like women, children and youth.

The Commissioner highlighted the agricultural transformation has been taking place as a result of CAADP implementation and said, “in recognition of the instrumentality and the added value that CAADP has been demonstrating over the last decade of experience, the recommitment to the principles and values of CAADP and sustaining the momentum is of paramount importance.”