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The private sector matters in development

There is increased recognition of the importance of private sector development for food and nutrition security, as illustrated in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation.

However, in order to maximise the benefits of private sector investments for food and nutrition security in Africa, concerted efforts are needed. Improving the business environment is a priority. The Malabo Declaration also points to limited progress made in agro-industries and agribusiness development, which hampers value addition and competitiveness of local agricultural products in trade at the local, regional, and international level and undermines the potential of the sector to generate employment opportunities, particularly for the youth and women.

The Food Security Programme seeks to contribute to private sector development for food and nutrition security, particularly through analytical work and facilitation of public-private dialogue

For this purpose, the Programme contributes to the establishment of regional sector-specific public-private dialogue platforms to mobilise political and business interests for the removal of policy barriers to intra-regional trade and investments along regional value chains, particularly in sub-regions of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

We seek to encourage sustainable investments along agricultural value chains

We also look at the growing use of development corridors to promote investment, regional integration and agricultural value chain development, including in West Africa. We analyse the implication of public-private initiatives on different operators in the value chain, particularly vulnerable groups.