Speaking at the second Brussels Briefing on ‘Advancing African agriculture‘, Martin Bwalya of NEPAD stressed the role of agriculture in terms of the wider sustainable development agenda, poverty alleviation and reaching the MDGs.
In his view, what it is new at this stage in Africa is the political will and commitment to enhance the role of agriculture, with a real shift of mindset in terms of ownership of agricultural policies.
These new elements are clearly characterized by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which is far more than just a tool for resource mobilisation: CAADP is about partnership, collaboration, institutional reform, and internalization and local ownership at all level.
However, according to Mr. Bwalya, there’s been enough talking, the we need to focus on implementation and get the very practical work done. He drew attention to issues such as governance and institutional arrangements, alignment and harmonisation among AU actors, and mechanisms for dialogue and information sharing that need to be tackled. By the same token, the “movement” and “energy” at country level has to be built on quickly.
In general, NEPAD is working to align the ‘triple A’ initiative with the CAADP process, looking at the linkages between the two. The EC and EU must remain actively engaged in advancing African agriculture, focusing in particular on increasing productivity, build institutional capacities, and support policy reforms as well as “grounded” monitoring and evaluation.
Summary of presentation (doc format)
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