Regional dimensions moving up in the agricultural development agenda – A report from the CAADP’s 8th Partnership Platform meeting

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      On 3-4 May, around 200 delegates came together in Nairobi for the annual Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Partnership Platform meeting. CAADP, endorsed by African leaders in 2003, is the agricultural component of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. Contrary to what the name may suggest, CAADP is not a (donors') programme, it is a common and Africa-led framework for stimulating and guiding national, regional and continental initiatives to enhance agriculture productivity and food security. Forging partnerships is at the core of CAADP.

      In that spirit, the 8th Partnership Platform meeting brought together a range of stakeholders, including representatives of national Ministries, regional economic communities, farmers’ organisations, youth associations, agricultural research institutes and donors. The delegates reviewed progress in implementation of CAADP-initiatives to advance agricultural development and related socio-economic standards including job creation, food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation. The meeting focussed on “Accelerating CAADP implementation for results and impact”, in recognition that almost 10 years after CAADP’s inception, it is time to move beyond process aspects of developing ‘compacts’ and investment plans to accelerate implementation and delivery of tangible results. Among the top priorities identified for moving forward are strengthening non-state actors’ engagement with CAADP, enhancing private sector financing throughout the agricultural value chains, stepping up mutual accountability and capacity development in CAADP-related policy-making, both at national and regional level.

      Regional dimensions of CAADP were high on the agenda of the Partnership Platform meeting. Increased emphasis on regional dimensions stems from the recognition that individual countries alone cannot address certain food security challenges nor tap important opportunities. Trade enables farmers to capitalize on the economic potential of their produce, helping to turn agriculture into one of the most important contributors to income generation and pro-poor growth. Regional integration and regional agricultural markets are particularly important for African agriculture, since national markets are often too small to justify investments and bring about all the needed transformation of African agriculture. Removing obstacles as inadequate infrastructures, trade barriers and lack of conducive business environment requires not only action at national level but also cooperation among neighboring countries. Acknowledging these facts, ECDPM has recently worked out 9 reasons why regional cooperation and integration are important for CAADP and food security.

      ECDPM also participated in the Partnership Platform meeting, and Jeske van Seters and Francesco Rampa facilitated a number of side-meetings in Nairobi to bring forward partnerships and joint activities with the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), Regional Economic Organisations, regional farmers organisations, African research institutes and development partners.

      Jeske and Francesco presented recent policy analysis by ECDPM on regional CAADP processes in various African regions, focusing on the issues at stake as well as its linkages with the broader regional integration processes. This year, the Partnership Platform meeting paid more attention to the regional dimension of CAADP than in previous years. It came back repeatedly in both plenary and break-out sessions and was highlighted by speakers such as African Union Commissioner Tumusiime Rhoda Peace and the chair of the Development Partners’ Task Team Jeff Hill. Stepping up regional CAADP is among the CAADP priorities for 2012-2013 that the delegates agreed on.


      Jeske van Seters is Deputy Programme Manager Food Security at ECDPM.
      Francesco Rampa, who co-authored this article, is Programme Manager Food Security at ECDPM.


      This blog post features the author’s personal view and does not represent the view of ECDPM.

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