Achieving the aspirations of the 2014 Malabo Commitments on Agriculture through reasserting country ownership and leadership
Nairobi, Kenya, June 29, 2015 – “The importance of operationalising the Malabo Declaration for transformation of African agriculture for shared prosperity cannot be overemphasised. Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy, as well as many other African countries,” says Rebecca Wahome, CAADP Focal Person for Kenya in the Ministry of Agriculture.
Ms. Wahome was speaking at the Permanent Secretaries Leadership Retreat on operationalising the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated African Agricultural Growth and Transformation (3AGT) convened by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the NEPAD Agency. The Leadership Retreat has brought together over 100 participants - Permanent Secretaries and CAADP Focal persons of Ministries of Agriculture, Rural Development, Livestock and Aquaculture, Regional Economic Communities and Partners.
The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is an African-led agenda designed to guide Africa’s agricultural transformation for sustained food security and socio-economic growth. The 2014 Malabo Declaration is a commitment adopted by AU Heads of State and Government to provide effective leadership for the achievement of specific goals by the year 2025, including ending hunger, tripling intra-African trade in agricultural goods and services, enhancing resilience of livelihoods and production systems, and ensuring that agriculture contributes significantly to poverty reduction.
To meet these goals, African leaders re-affirmed their commitment to the CAADP process and agreed to enhance investment finance and to a biennial tracking of progress and reporting mechanism as part of the mutual accountability commitment.
In his opening remarks at the Leadership Retreat, Dr. Abebe Haile Gabriel, AUC Director for the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture empahsised the importance of country ownership and leadership in realising the goals of the Malabo committments.
The aspirations in the Malabo Declaration underscore CAADP implementation as a national responsibility. It is therefore critical that Heads of Ministries as custodians of government policies and national development strategies and plans, including the National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans, fully embrace and internalise the responsibilities for driving the CAADP agenda.
Dr Abebe emphasised that making deliberate and informed actions to bring about desired changes and development is actually ‘in our hands’ and urged leaders to steer away from rhetoric on the importance of agriculture by actual demonstration of its importance through increasing investments in the sector that will help realise attainment of the goals in the Malabo committments.
Martin Bwalya, NEPAD Agency’s Head of Programme Development, speaking on behalf of the NEPAD CEO, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, stressed that Malabo Declaration has brought to the core issue of delivering RESULTS. Sustaining the CAADP momentum build up over the last ten years will only be sustained by demostrating results and actual impact of agricultural transformation on peoples’ livelihoods and national economic growth. In emphasing implementation and delivery of results, Malabo Declaration also underscores the critical role the national leadership – technical and political, have to play in driving implementation COUNTRY ACTION. The Permenent/Principal Secretaries – as custodians of Government Policy and drivers for implementation support, are critical lead players in making the COUNTRY ACTION that Malabo demands.
African Union Commission