By Jimoh Babatunde
THE African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) have been urged to facilitate the mobilisation of investment finances required for the operationalization of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated African Agriculture Growth and Transformation (3AGT).
The call was made by participants at the just concluded two-day Leadership Retreat for engagement with Permanent Secretaries (PS) /Heads of Ministries of Agriculture in AU Member States held in Nairobi, Kenya.
The over 90 participants , comprising Permanent Secretaries, Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Focal Persons and representatives of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) among others, said the investment finances needed should include identification of alternative sources of funding and other innovative resource mobilization strategies.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the retreat, the participants underscored the urgency of reviewing National Agricultural Investment Plans to align them and recommended the strengthening of CAADP activity coordination within countries to give greater impetus to the implementation of the Malabo Commitments.
The Retreat also called upon Member States, that have not already done so, to fast track the development ofNational Agriculture Implementation Plans(NAIPs).
The Retreat also agreed on the need to put in place coordination mechanisms in the countries, particularly to align political will and technical coordination for the implementation of the Malabo Declaration. In this regard, the Retreat noted the critical importance of building necessary human resources capacity for CAADP country teams.
While noting the renewed vision for CAADP and related commitments for results and impact, the Retreat recommended the need for a well-articulated CAADP Communication Plan and the use of national legislation to enhance the delivery on CAADP in unlocking opportunities and resources within the national economies, “including the removal of policy and institutional constraints to achieving the CAADP targets.”
The participants reaffirmed the leadership role of Permanent Secretaries as paramount to successful implementation of activities aligned to the CAADP documents including internal mobilisation and allocation of financial resources.
The catalytic role played by Permanent Secretaries as a main link between political and technical governance arms involved in the implementation of Malabo was also brought to the fore as the PS have capacities and expertise at different implementation levels; to ensure smooth implementation process and progress.
“As a result, Permanent Secretaries help bridge the gap between political commitment and the actual delivery of the CAADP results and impacts.”
The communique noted the need for accurate data for evidence-based decision making and reporting and called on AUC, the NPCA and the RECs to support development of the needed systemic capacities at country level, also taking note of the need for gender and youth disaggregated data collection and analysis.
While calling on the Permanent Secretaries to disseminate the main decisions of the Retreat
within their Member States, the participants urged member states to set in motion mechanisms for tracking progress in line with the CAADP Results Framework and in readiness for the first biennial review by Heads of State and Government scheduled for January 2018.