The meeting brought together different stakeholders at policy making level, National and Regional Economic Level, Development partnership level, implementors of Food Systems and Agriculture programmes and Media.
The main objective of the consultative meeting was to establish status of the NAIPs and RAIPs implementation in member states including linkages to the National development Plans and in the process identify lessons, challenges and opportunities that might have accelerated or delayed the implementation of the NAIPs and RAIPs.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the CEO of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, Mrs Nardos Bekele-Thomas indicated that the meeting created an opportunity to engage all AU Member States and work towards strengthened financing and multi-stakeholder coordination on the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and said that it will also build on the outcomes and commitments of 2021 such as the UNFSS, COP26 and the N4G Summit.
CAADP was adopted in 2003 by the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government Summit in Maputo, Mozambique as a policy framework to stimulate and guide attainment of food security and poverty reduction goals in Africa. It was at this Summit that a resolution was adopted to commit at least 10% of the annual public budget to agriculture and rural development and to achieving agricultural GDP growth rates of at least 6% per annum. From this resolution, the NAIPs were embedded as a cornerstone of the CAADP goal.
The critical role of the NAIPs in the agriculture transformation agenda of the continent was brought to the fore once again at the Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea where the Heads of State and Government adopted a Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods and later referred to as the “Malabo Declaration”. The Malabo Declaration highlights seven commitments as indicators for progress and impact on the 10-year vision and goals of Africa Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation (3AGT) agenda.
It was therefore pertinent that during the convened consultative meeting on the NAIPs status and implementation, the different stakeholders highlighted the role that the NAIPs play in the realisation of the Malabo Declaration commitments, but beyond that, in food security and economic prosperity of the continent.
‘The National Agriculture Investment Plans have been the central tool of implementation of the Malabo Declaration’, said Mrs Estherine Lisinge-Fotabong, AUDA-NEPAD Director of Programme Innovation and Planning.
The meeting, structured through an agenda over three days focused on the role of the NAIPs in strengthening national and regional planning systems, Agricultural and Food systems transformation agenda, the role of supply chain, national level implementation systems, planning, execution and evaluation of the NAIPs, Capacity Development, partnerships, value chains and market access. Initiatives to augment the implementation of the NAIPs was also discussed along with the role that different stakeholder such as women and youth play.
The meeting was also attended by the Permanent Secretary, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment of Senegal, H.E Papa Malick Ndao and Dr Aly Betty, Republic of Niger High Commissioner of the 3N Initiative. They both spoke on their country’s strategies in implementing the NAIPs.
“in Senegal, the NAIPs have assisted to accelerate agricultural growth, led to poverty reduction and jobs creation & aided in the reduction of food insecurity”, said the Permanent Secretary.
The High commissioner spoke about the new action plan of the 3N Initiative in Niger which will make it possible to accelerate the transformation of food systems and will seize the opportunity represented by the advent of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The meeting also developed a roadmap on the next steps for the CAADP 3rd Decade cycle.