High poverty levels in Africa, driven by lack of access to food compounded by diminishing food supplies, have pushed the African Union to put in place a roadmap to guide African countries to increase investments in the agriculture sector so as to achieve the 2025 vision for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods.
Currently, Africa spends in excess of US$40 billion annually on food imports. With the dubious accolade of being a net food importer, the continent remains one of the most vulnerable and with the highest poverty levels.
The African Union (AU) Commission and its New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) Agency have launched the AU Implementation Strategy and Roadmap to achieve the 2014 Malabo Declaration targets for agricultural growth and shared prosperity as a new approach, which the continent hopes will provide the silver bullet to end crippling hunger and malnutrition.
The strategy, which ties into the theme of the 24th AU Summit here this week of “Year of Women’s’ Empowerment and Development in Africa”, was launched on Thursday to integrate agriculture into national and regional development priorities.
The new strategy stems from the ten-year old Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) launched in 2003, which calls on members States to increase funding to the agriculture sector to 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
It also hopes to help in agricultural transformation into more inclusive growth, by focusing on increased agricultural production, intra-African trade in agriculture, resilience of livelihoods, and strengthening the governance of land, water and natural resources.
2014 was declared the African Year of Agriculture while the new strategy is aimed at realizing the agenda set in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Meanwhile, the 24th session of the AU Summit begins this morning where peace and security are at the top of the agenda.
The meeting – which is attended by several Heads of State and Government including President Jacob Zuma comes at a time when Nigeria’s terror group Boko Haram threatened the holding of peaceful elections in that country and when south Sudan is still riddled by war. – SAnews.gov.za-NNN
Source : SAnews.gov.za