- As some 150 delegates from across the world convene in Mali this week to determine early actions and implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development's (NEPAD's) Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) in West Africa, the programme is already receiving huge international support. West Africa aims at annual growth rates of 6 percent for its agricultural sector.
The CAADP so far has been most successful in Southern Africa. According to a NEPAD news release, the African Development Bank (ADB) has already pledged US$ 150 million for an agricultural water management programme to increase food security in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), while the Italian government has contributed US$ 250,000 to facilitate this programme.
NEPAD's agricultural advisor, Professor Richard Mkandawire, says in addition the World Bank has contributed US$500 000 for a budget tracking system of CAADP. "Early action plans for the estimated US$ 240 billion are being determined and regional economic committees are taking responsibility for the implementation," he adds. Now, West Africa hopes to achieve similar support.
The CAADP implementation meeting for the West Africa region, which will be officially opened by Mali's Prime Minister, Ousmane Issoufi Maiga, tomorrow, is taking place with the collaboration of national governments in Africa, the G8, technical experts and regional and international organisations. An implementation meeting for North Africa will be held in Egypt early in April with a round-up meeting in Ghana soon afterwards.
Mr Makandawire says feedback on the implementation progress to the G8 in Paris and Bonn following the recent regional implementation meetings in Tanzania and Mozambique was well received.
CAADP is an Africa-made roadmap to improve agricultural productivity and reduce hunger throughout the continent. The programme's four main thrusts are expanding areas under sustainable land and water management, improving market access and infrastructure, increasing food supplies, reducing hunger and improving responses to food emergencies, as well as improving agricultural research and technology dissemination and adoption.
- If successful, CAADP will achieve an annual average growth of six percent by 2015, while focusing on small-scale farmers and women, says Mr Makandawire. "It will also achieve a more equitable distribution of wealth, sustainable management of natural resources and integration of farmers into the market economy."
Most African countries have validated and internalised CAADP in their agricultural development plans. "The challenge now is to move beyond political commitment to prepare specific projects and programmes and to mobilise the funding and expertise to actually implement them," says Mr Makandawire.
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