CAADP: Achieving Prosperity through Agriculture in Africa

by Chigozie N. Udensi - 2 December, 2020, 12:00 1888 Views 0 Comment

Africa is bestowed with vastly abundant environmental and agricultural resources, yet the continent has remained a net food importer. This is due to a combination of the stagnating agricultural production and the rising demand for food, intensified by the depletion of environmental condition. While the value of exports of both food products and agricultural commodities has increased considerably at the start of the 2000s, the subsequent import costs have increased even more rapidly, leading to a widening debt.

In response to this challenge is the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP); the strategic policy structure of the African Union for the African continent’s agricultural development. The African Union (AU) and NEPAD founded CAADP in 2003. It aims to achieve an annual growth rate of approximately 6% in the gross domestic agricultural product of each of the participating countries by investing at least 10% of the national budgets in the agricultural sector each year. At the same time, agricultural production diversifying progressed only slowly, and small farmers have gained only slightly from fast economic growth. In perspective, Africa remains the headquarters of global poverty and food insecurity, while more than 50% of the African labour force (and 60% of the female labour force) is employed by the agriculture sector.

One of Africa’s greatest challenges today remains food security. It is most noticeable in the recurrent shortage of food and famines, like the Horn of Africa crisis, which lasted from July 2011 to February 2012 and affected about 13 million people. To this effect, in 2014 when the African Union adopted the “Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods”, African leaders dedicated themselves to ending hunger and reducing poverty on the continent by 2025.

Over the last decade, the introduction of the Comprehensive Africa Development Program for Agriculture (CAADP) has enabled some countries to resolve major developmental challenges in agricultural production. In addition to enhancing the processes of development planning, African countries are more focused on enhancing and integrating the processes of policy design by, for example, making the processes of policy design open and inclusive and also related to evidence-based evaluation.

The Sustaining CAADP Momentum exercise acknowledges that the CAADP vision is still just as true as it was in 2003 in a detailed and highly collaborative review exercise of CAADP preparation and execution during the first 10 years. There is now increasing commitment and initiative to improve and integrate the structural and human potential to reach maximum levels of effectiveness and efficiency in planning and delivery. This analysis also identified a visible and growing need for agricultural sector results and outcomes. The policies show that the added value of the CAADP will be primarily necessary to improve the ability of delivery and produce the best results and outcomes. Improving agricultural efficiency and ensuring that this in-turn results in improvements in livelihood criteria and prosperity, including wealth, job growth, poverty alleviation, food and nutrition stability, resilience and development among the African people, will call for the realization of desired impacts.

According to the 2020 Africa Agriculture Status Report themed “Feeding Africa’s Cities”, Africa’s cities have the largest and fastest-growing agricultural markets in Africa. Of its overall urban food purchases of approximately $200 – $250 billion annually, more than 80% come from domestic African vendors. Demographic forecasts expect the pace of African urbanization to be the fastest in the world in the coming decades. This report shows that as the epicentre in African agro-based structures is progressively moving to urban areas, a group of new non-traditional actors, including urban planners, mayors, district councils, trade organizations and public health professionals are becoming major stakeholders in the development of agricultural policy.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the Africa Development Bank, in his public lecture at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, held at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, in 2018, explained that the global sustainability of food will depend on what Africa does with agriculture in the future. Africa contains 65% of the 9 billion uncultivated arable lands left to feed by 2050. Africa contains the world’s greatest fertile lands, measured at 400 million hectares. And although agricultural businesses and agro-allied industries are vital to revamping the fortunes of the rural economies of African countries, this should be achieved in ways that discourage land grabbing and the lack of community rights over their assets.

An important part of a country’s CAADP implementation is the CAADP Results Framework. Therefore, the application of the System means incorporating its functions and concepts at all stages into the exercises and processes of CAADP development. The Results Framework thus helps to facilitate, provide, support and promote:

  • The design and implementation of policies, initiatives and investment opportunities;
  • Objectivity and consistency of intent in success and outcome monitoring;
  • A sound, consistent and evidence-based framework for pursuing accountability; and
  • Compliance and standardisation, which strengthens cohesion in the efforts to grow.

The Results Framework of the CAADP shows that there are different tools and processes at the national level to design, implement, monitor and evaluate agricultural interventions. It is intended that the Framework will act as an essential part of these current systems and instruments. Countries are encouraged to reinforce or create national result frameworks for their individual governmental agricultural investment plans. It is essential that the results frameworks at the country level are synchronized with the continental CAADP Results Framework. The moral duty and responsibility of African leaders is to rise up together and end hunger in Africa. This can be achieved by going the extra mile to transform agriculture into an enterprise for wealth creation and prosperity.

Chigozie N. Udensi
Author is a PhD student in Politics and International Relations from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

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