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AU official calls for implementation of Africa’s agricultural development pledges

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The African Union (AU) has called for concerted efforts to deliver on Africa’s commitments on agricultural development.

The call was made by Josefa Sacko, the AU commissioner for agriculture, rural development, blue economy and sustainable environment, during a meeting on the progress of Africa’s flagship agricultural development initiative, known as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), according to an AU statement issued late Friday.

African heads of state and government endorsed CAADP back in July 2003 in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. Building upon the Maputo Declaration, African leaders endorsed the Malabo Declaration in 2014, which made seven bold commitments with the first one being a recommitment to CAADP.

“We have two years remaining to close off the Malabo Declaration. Our member states are far from achieving the set seven Malabo commitments, and this calls for a robust intervention on what we could possibly do to support them in staying the course in their agricultural performance and create evidence-based solutions where we can draw lessons to enable a strong post-Malabo agenda,” Sacko said.

Noting that CAADP has been a pivotal framework for catalyzing agricultural transformation across the continent, Sacko said the initiative’s overarching objectives envisage reinvigorating agricultural growth, ensuring food security, and promoting rural development across Africa.

According to the AU commissioner, the Malabo Declaration emphasized mutual accountability among stakeholders and introduced ambitious commitments to eradicating hunger, reducing child malnutrition, halving poverty by 2025, tripling intra-African trade, and enhancing resilience to climate variability and other shocks, among others.

Sacko said the emergence of crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts, and climate change impacts, necessitates further cooperation and engagement toward the success of CAADP.

“In line with the emerging trends, the time remaining for the Malabo Declaration to expire, and given that the CAADP agenda is fully embedded into the Agenda 2063, it is important that we discuss the roadmap leading to the design of a post-Malabo agenda,” she said.

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