Eighth African Development Forum concludes
The eighth African Development Forum (AFD VIII) wound up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Thursday with the adoption of a Consensus Statement suggesting better ways in which African countries can use their natural resources to promote people-centered sustainable development.
The 11-page document is the tangible result of the October 2325 forum on the theme “Governing and Harnessing Natural Resources for Africa’s Development.” It focused on how to generate maximum benefits from the exploitation of Africa’s lands, minerals, fisheries and forests for the benefits of the people. On land, which has come under intense speculative pressure from local and foreign investors, the document calls for scientific and methodical approaches to land issues that would guarantee transparency, equity and sustainability.
These include strengthening policy, access, property rights, and investment in large scale agriculture in line with the existing Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Africa accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s uncultivated arable land that need to be protected against rapacious speculation. In an open letter to Forum participants, OXFAM said some 50 million hectares had been acquired in 700 transactions in recent years. The ADF, a United Nations Economic Commission for Africa biennial event is convened in collaboration with the African Union Commission, African Development Bank.