Advocating for the active Engagement of the Youth in the Agricultural Value Chain

19 - 23 September 2011
Ezulwini, Swaziland

Political commitment key in CAADP implementation

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Grace Musimami
Article content: 

Eight years down the road the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is far from meeting its set objectives, still facing great challenges of implementation.

This has been attributed to the poor political commitment to the implementation of the pro-gramme, according to Professor Firmino Mucavele, the director of Eduado Mondlane University, who says the CAADP’s current implementation status is far from its set objectives if political leaders do not put it on their main agenda.
“CAADP is a beautiful programme meant to deliver Africa as the promised land, but the limited political will is likely to hinder the chances for possible continental successes,” said Mucavele.

He called on various stakeholders to put political leaders to task to find out how committed they are to the process, saying in countries where political will had been exhibited, CAADP was a success story.

Speaking at the FANRPAN 2011 food security regional policy dialogue in Ezulwini, Swaziland Mucavele said countries where political commitment was positive have registered successful stories with CAADP.

Rwanda was one of the first countries to sign up to the CAADP process in 2007 and it has registered success stories over the years. Mucavele further hailed the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame for being a practical president and owning the programme right from its inception, a factor that has led to successful implementation of the CAADP.

Mucavele further challenged the regional communities to steer the CAADP process as this would meet their desired goal to harmonise the economic block.
These include the Southern Africa Devel-opment Community (SADC), Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Economic Community for West African States (ECO-WAS) and East and Central Africa States (ECCAS).

“Regional bodies have a big role to play. ECO-WAS has supported its member states to achieve the CAADP objectives. All its member states have signed compacts and provided support to a tune of $400,000 to enable the process. COMESA is also trying to do the same,” said Mucavele.

CAADP consists of four pillars - extending the area under sustainable land management and reliable water control systems, improving rural infrastructure and trade related capacities for market access, increasing food supply and reducing hunger, and agricultural research, technology dissemination and adoption. These pillars are supported by cross-cutting areas in academic and professional training in the agricultural sector and information and knowledge systems to support strategy formulation.

Launched in 2003, the programme has registered tremendous achievements where 27 countries have signed the compacts with most having investment plans, and 10 countries have so far achieved the 10 percent budget allocation to the agricultural sector.