Eighth African De­vel­op­ment Forum con­cludes

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

TU­NIS

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.

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