Abuja, Nigeria – African countries have been called upon to work harmoniously in sustaining and building upon the achievements recorded in agriculture since the establishment 10 years ago of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
PANA reported that a top official of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Mrs Estherine Lisinge-Fotabong, made the call at the close of a three-day meeting of key stakeholders in the implementation of the CAADP agenda in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Tuesday evening.
“I think we have done well, the presentation and discussions have been very rich. We have gotten advice on how to sustain the momentum in implementing the CAADP framework. Even though we are making good progress, we still have much to do,” she said.
Top officials from the African Union Commission, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Civil Society, the private sector and farmers organisations attended the joint review and planning meeting.
African leaders set up CAADP at their summit in Maputo, Mozambique, as a road map for agriculture development on the continent.
The meeting in Abuja provides the opportunity to access the implementation of the programme so far, highlight success stories, challenges, lessons and chart a way forward for the next 10 years.
“When you look at the CAADP principles, there seems not to be a specific role for the private sector at the continental level which also trickled down to the regional and national level. This is an issue that needs to be addressed,” the Chief Executive Officer of Private Enterprise Federation in Ghana, Mr. Nana Osei-Bansa, said at the meeting.
William Dorthi of the Zambia-based Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) said several members of the 19 economic blocs have been assisted in the implementation of their CAADP framework aimed at improving agricultural production, reducing poverty and creating wealth.
“We have a draft COMESA agriculture policy and investment framework and have finalised COMESA Regional Compact. The issues and challenges are not new. We have limited resources for implementation of programmes.
”The participation of the private sector is still an issue. We expect that four more members of the group will sign the CAADP Compact in 2014. We need support to mobilise more funds, we need to engage consultants and address manpower shortage,” the COMESA official said.
On his part, the Director of Mananga Centre for Regional Integration and Management Development based in Swaziland, Dr. Ranga Taruvinga, said the meeting provided an opportunity to review past activities and learn useful lessons from one another.
The theme for the meeting was, ”Planning for a Decade of Implementing and Sustaining CAADP Momentum Strategy”.