Observer on Saturday - - News - By Bodwa Mbingo

All 54 African Union (AU) mem­ber states have failed to meet the seven Malabo com­mit­ments to­wards re­al­is­ing agri­cul­tural trans­for­ma­tion as stip­u­lated in the Malabo Declaration on Agri­cul­tural Trans­for­ma­tion.

The In­au­gu­ral Bi­en­nial Re­view Re­port now shows only 20 coun­tries in­clud­ing Eswastini are on track to re­al­iz­ing the score of 10 on the Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Malabo declaration on Ac­cel­er­ated Agri­cul­tural Growth and Trans­for­ma­tion for Shared Pros­per­ity and Im­proved Liveli­hoods.

The 20 coun­tries, that ob­tained the min­i­mum over­all score of 3.94 out of 10 to be on track (the 2017 bench­mark) for im­ple­ment­ing com­mit­ments of the Malabo declaration by 2025, in­clude: Benin (4.3), Botswana (4.4), Bu­rundi (4.7) and Burk­ina Faso (4.2).

The oth­ers are Cape Verde (4.6), Ethiopia (5.3), Kenya (4.8), Malawi (4.9), Mali (5.6) and Mau­ri­ta­nia (4.8).

The rest are Mau­ri­tius (5.0), Morocco (5.5), Mozam­bique (4.1), Namibia (4.1), Rwanda (6.1), Sey­chelles (4.0), South Africa (4.1), Eswa­tini (4.0), Togo (4.9) and Uganda (4.5).

Ac­cord­ing to KBC Chan­nel 1 News, the Di­rec­tor of Pro­gramme Im­ple­men­ta­tion and Co­or­di­na­tion at NEPAD Plan­ning and Co­or­di­nat­ing Agency (NEPAD Agency), Es­ther­ine Fotabong urged African states not to view the Bi­en­nial Re­view re­port as a “polic­ing tool, but a work­ing tool­kit.”

“The Bi­en­nial Re­view should of­fer an op­por­tu­nity for self-re­flec­tion,” said the Di­rec­tor of Pro­grams at the Nepad Agency, Es­ther­ine Fotabong adding that, “It is not a tool to shame coun­tries, but a tool to sup­port mem­ber coun­tries.”

Fotabong spoke in Li­bre­ville, Gabon, at the 14th Com­pre­hen­sive Africa Agri­cul­ture De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram (CAADP) pri­vate part­ner­ship con­fer­ence with the theme, “Ac­cel­er­at­ing the Im­ple­men­ta­tion of Na­tional Agri­cul­tural In­vest­ment Plans to Achieve the Malabo Goals and Tar­gets”

She said the Bi­en­nial Re­view was de­vel­oped through con­sul­ta­tion with all 54 African Union mem­ber states’ min­istries of agri­cul­ture so as to gauge the ex­tent to which the mem­ber coun­tries are im­ple­ment­ing the Malabo declaration on agri­cul­ture trans­for­ma­tion.

Fotabong said out of the 47 Mem­ber States that re­ported progress in im­ple­ment­ing the Malabo declaration, only 20 re­ported to be on-track for achiev­ing the com­mit­ments by 2025.

And speak­ing at the open­ing of the con­fer­ence the AUC’s Com­mis­sioner for Ru­ral Econ­omy and Agri­cul­ture, Josefa Sacko re­it­er­ated that while the Bi­en­nial Re­view Re­port re­vealed that the con­ti­nent as a whole is not on track to achieve the Malabo Declaration by 2025, for­mu­lat­ing Malabo com­pli­ant Na­tional Agri­cul­ture In­vest­ment Plans (NAIPs), mo­bil­is­ing and in­vest­ing in pri­or­ity ar­eas iden­ti­fied in the NAIPs while strength­en­ing sys­temic ca­pac­ity for im­ple­men­ta­tion and co­or­di­na­tion would rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion.

“Our wish as AU is that by the time we start the sec­ond round of the bi­en­nial re­view process in 2019, all Mem­ber States will have do­mes­ti­cated the Malabo declaration in their NAIPs us­ing the tools for ev­i­dence-based plan­ning,” she said.

Fotabong noted that the Na­tional Agri­cul­ture In­vest­ment Plans (NAIPs) are crit­i­cal as they play the im­por­tant role of re­al­is­ing the tar­gets set out in Malabo in 2014 not­ing that CAADP is a trail­blaser for Africa which if well im­ple­mented should aid the con­ti­nent in trans­for­ma­tion its agri­cul­ture for shared pros­per­ity. “Africa has to fund its own de­vel­op­ment,“said Fotabong and added, “Oth­ers can only come in to sup­port us but the first in­vest­ment must come from within the con­ti­nent.” With Sacko urg­ing stake­hold­ers to sup­port AU mem­ber states in for­mu­lat­ing and or en­hanc­ing their NAIPs, “the ba­sis of which the next con­ti­nen­tal re­port would be pro­duced.”

“Re­newed part­ner­ships built on mu­tual ac­count­abil­ity will help gov­ern­ments, the pri­vate sec­tor, civil so­ci­ety, farm­ers and farm­ers’ or­gan­i­sa­tions as well as de­vel­op­ment part­ners to de­liver on re­sults and im­pact for a trans­formed agri­cul­ture to reach the tar­gets set by the Malabo Declaration.”

Fotabong on the other hand urged African states to recom­mit re­sources to im­ple­ment­ing com­mit­ment num­ber six, ‘en­hanc­ing re­silience to cli­mate vari­abil­ity’ not­ing that only Mau­ri­tius was on track in build­ing re­silience and set­ting aside bud­get lines on dis­as­ter pre­pared­ness pol­icy and strategy and on early warn­ing re­sponse sys­tems and so­cial safety nets in or­der to achieve a pro­por­tion of 100 per cent of house­hold cov­ered by in­dex in­sur­ance. Fotabong, how­ever, ar­gued that coun­tries may have not pro­vided data since their re­ports on the Na­tional De­ter­mined Con­tri­bu­tions that were pre­sented at the Paris con­fer­ence on cli­mate change had in­di­cated that most coun­tries were on track.

“We do not be­lieve that we just have one coun­try that has met the re­quire­ment of the NDC as stip­u­lated in the Paris agree­ment on cli­mate change,” said Fotabong.

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