african-union, AU, Soldiers

. as participants commend AUC on BR training

By Jimoh Babatunde

Some of the participants that attended the training of regional experts to support post third Biennial Review (BR) organized by the African Union in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, recently have said that the Biennial Review is helping Africa to progress in implementing the Malabo declaration as they commended the organisers of the training.

One of the participants, the Co-ordinator, CAADP Non-State Actors Coalition, Kop’ep Dabuget, said they will continue to use the results of the BR for advocacy, “so this kind of meeting is very important for tying all the knots together, all the different ropes hanging here and there bringing them together.

While commending the organisers for bringing everyone together, he said the training was a necessary one as it helped achieve many objectives at once.
“The first objective in my view is to create awareness creation on different tools and instruments that African Union (AU) has developed.

“Secondly, it helps also people to own the instruments so that when they go back they can use it for advocacy and also for policy change.

“Thirdly, it also helps to create a very strong group committed to CAADP’s diligent process.

So I think if I reflect on the training, I know that people now should be in a position to speak confidently about CAADP and its processes about the right push in the agricultural investment plan.

“They should be able also to speak with a lot of cognisance about the business plan and about all the mechanism that has been put in place. I think I can take from this meeting is the fact that also the civil society, developed economic societies and the rest can be reflected on the implications of the BR and there’s a need for the regions and there’s a need for the country and there’s a need for the different stakeholders that are engaged in it and what roles they can play and effect a change. So this is my overall take on this training.

Dabuget added that CAADP in general is a continental framework for agricultural transformation, “and when we talk about continental framework it doesn’t belong to one institution, it’s for all of us to implement as one.

“But For all of us to implement it as one, we need all stakeholders from all angles. So what the BR is doing now is to fast track this and to tell us “you guys this is a very beautiful framework that you have your targets are really good and realistic”.
“However, we are not moving well to achieving them. So I think moving forward we need to look at really all those problematic components because BR is just for accountability.

Also speaking with Vanguard at the sideline of the training, Samuel Benin of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said though most countries did not do well from the results of the 3rd BR,the participants in the training will be able to explain the results to policymakers on how to utilise the result and make good progress.

“The BR is helping African countries to track progress in implementing the Malabo declaration, especially accelerating agriculture transformation and improving rural agriculture and enhancing their resilience.

“We have identified important things on how we can go forward in terms of generating good policy and indication that can help in program implementation.
Because compared to previous BR reports, we have found that countries are not doing well as they are expected to do.

“The train the trainers aimed to help them explain some issue that people who look at the report may be disappointed about, the trainers will help to explain better. They will be able to explain how to make progress.”

Dr Simplice Fonkou of the African Union Commission said there is a need for academia to be involved in the Biennial Review (BR) report by reading and providing analysis for government to take an appropriate decision.

He said the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) remains the agenda that Africa should follow to address the challenge of food security, poverty reduction in a sustainable manner.

“It is important that CAADP is implemented across the country level in a well-organized manner. After the review of the report, the continent is not on track to meet the Malabo commitment, although we see some progress but not good enough.

“We need to accelerate the implementation of CAADP and for this to happen we need to implement the Malabo report as well as mainstream its commitment to our national investment and this can only be done if all the stakeholders are involved in the process.”
Fonkou said the Civic Societies need to advocate for policy change to transform agriculture policy and the media have a role to play in communicating not only about the result of the bi-annual report but also policy implications so that government is aware of what needs to be done.

“I hope that living here today, action will start tomorrow and it is a collective responsibility. The bill to meet our food demand is about $40 million today per year. It may reach $100 billion by the year 2025.

“So, if we reduced our importation significantly, we can solve our infrastructure challenges.
Importing means we are exporting our capacity to create jobs.


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