Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
A call for more investment financing for NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) at regional and national levels was made by the Chairman of the Africa Union Commission, Dr. Jean Ping, at a meeting of the African Union and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held in New York on 23 September 2008 during the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Dr. Ping, who noted that 2008 is the fifth anniversary of the CAADP, told the meeting :
“While we have noted with appreciation the global commitment, through the G-8 and various bilateral and multilateral agencies, to CAADP, we would like to see more concrete support of interventions through investment financing at regional and national levels.
“Along the same lines, we would like to see the CAADP Roundtable process fast-tracked and we are keen to see at the minimum at least 10 countries complete this process by the end of 2008. Beyond this we want country CAADP compacts defined, with clear investments and financial requirements defined and committed.
“I wish to also note with gratitude the role of the CAADP Partnership Platform which is an important instrument for dialogue and mutual accountability in the implementation of CAADP”.
Dr. Ping said that in the next six months the African Union Commission will undertake a mid-term review of CAADP where a new generation of CAADP targets will be determined.
“We will be keen within the context of this review to prepare a score-card that will serve as a basis for peer review on the performance of the agricultural sector in Africa including progress achieved in efficiency and effectiveness in public expenditure and budget monitoring”.
He proposed that an AUC and Partners Steering Group be set up to specifically focus on mobilisation of global investment financing in support of CAADP and that the World Bank be asked to coordinate this process with the AU. Source : NEPAD, october 3, 2008
29 September - 3 October, Africa Forum meeting under the theme “Making agri-business work for rural livelihoods : CAADP implementation at country level”, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
29 September - 3 October, NEPAD preparatory mission to Namibia, Windhoek.
12 October, 2nd co-chairs meeting in preparation for the 11th Africa Partnership Forum (APF) in Washington DC, USA.
13-16 October, Meeting on “Institutions, Culture and Corruption in Africa” organised by UNECA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
15-17 October, Training of agricultural journalists, NEPAD Midrand, South Africa.
17 October, Validation meeting for the 2008 UNECA/OECD mutual review of development effectiveness report, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
21-22 October, 9th meeting of the Regional Consultation Mechanism, hosted by UNECA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
27 - 29 October, RUROFORUM Ministers meeting, Lusaka, Zambia. Source : NEPAD, october 3, 2008
Theme : Pro-poor agribusiness growth : mainstreaming micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in African agribusiness
October 13-14 2008 The Panari Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya
Background Pan African Agribusiness Consortium (PanAAC) in conjunction with the Association for Strengthening of Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and NEPAD will host the inaugural East and Central Africa (ECA) agribusiness workshop and business to business meeting. The theme of the workshop is Pro poor agribusiness growth : mainstreaming micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in African business.
The workshop will be in two sessions. The first session will be the public private sector dialogue bringing together representatives from agricultural research institutes, policy makers, agribusiness organisations and representatives of the other PanAAC focal points.
The second session will be the private sector caucus that will be exclusive to agribusiness and its organisations.
Potential areas of discussion in African agribusiness are numerous. However, reflections on the issues that featured at the first private sector meeting in Johannesburg during the FARA General Assembly, subsequent consolidation meeting in Accra-Ghana and consultations with stakeholders indicate that the following sub themes should warrant more attention.
Risk and vulnerability Mitigating risks associated with gaps in agribusiness infrastructure and policy. Agribusiness chain risk assessment and mitigation interventions. Finance Financing options and sustainable credit lines for start up and early stage agribusiness enterprises. Strengthening sub-regional value chains through risk capital provision. Reducing the financing barriers to innovation and technology transfer in agribusiness. Innovation Challenges and opportunities due to innovation in agricultural input supply chain. Challenges and drivers of demand-driven research initiatives in regional agri-business. Extension and training Development of demand-driven extension and advisory services to integrate market chains. Training to foster market linkages across agribusiness value chains. Partnerships Partnership between corporate agribusiness and MSMEs in linking farmers to markets. Realignment of donor support in agribusiness. Expected outputs
The agribusiness dialogue and caucus aim to realise the following outputs :
A common understanding of the concept of PanAAC. An understanding of and agreement on the challenges and opportunities in the ECA agribusiness based on sharing experiences and analysing the issues together. An understanding of the need to set up sub-regional chapters of PanAAC with clear goals and expected benefits for the members. Strategic areas for the ECA sub-region or chapter. A defined plan of action for the chapter. Venue and date
The workshop will be held from Monday 13 to Tuesday 14 October 2008 at the Panari Hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya. The participants are requested to arrange to arrive in Nairobi not later than 12 October to facilitate registration and logistics.
PanAAC has negotiated with the Panari Hotel for the following discounted rates :
Single occupancy - US$ 140 Double occupancy - US$ 170 Note : Above rates are inclusive of breakfast, tax and access to health club facilities
In view of the objectives of the workshop, attendance will be limited to 50 participants to allow for a close interaction between the stakeholders.
Visas can generally be obtained on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi at a fee of US$ 50. Nationals of Cameroon, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Somalia are required to apply for visas through the Kenyan Embassy at least one month before date of travel. Nationals from Ghana, Uganda and Ethiopia do not require visas to enter Kenya.
Partners and collaborators :
ASARECA, FARA, DFID-RIU, NEPAD, CDE, AGRA, USAID, CIDA, SNV, GTZ, FAO, EC and COMESA. Source : NEPAD, october 3, 2008
In the tiny Himalayan state of Nepal a newly built highway linking the capital of Kathmandu with the country’s agricultural breadbasket on the Terai Plain is transforming the lives of farmers, small businessmen and schoolchildren living along the route. The Sindhuli road has been rebuilt with Japanese grant aid.
Across Africa small and medium-sized business enterprises are being launched with the help of 11.5 billion yen in Japanese ODA loans to enhance private sector-driven economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa.
In Central America Japanese volunteers and experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are helping to combat the deadly chaggas disease while in China and Myanmar other specialists recently helped some of the hundreds of thousands of victims of an earthquake and cyclone which struck those regions.
All of these projects are part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), but until now were administered by separate government organisations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JICA and JBIC.
Beginning 1 October 2008, after several years of major restructuring, all that has changed. Overseas Economic Cooperation Operations (OECOs), providing Japanese ODA loans and the grant aid from the Foreign Ministry has been merged with the cooperation agency into one organisation, New JICA.
This agency, with some 10.3 billion US dollars of available financial resources, is reputedly the world’s largest bilateral development organisation working in 150 countries, its core professional staff reinforced at any one time by several thousand experts and consultants and both young and senior volunteers working on hundreds of projects.
Uniquely, and for the first time, one Japanese agency is now able to provide technical assistance, Japanese ODA loans and grant aid ‘all under one roof’. JICA president Sadako Ogata, who heads the expanded organisation said : “This decision marks a major historical turning point, not only for JICA, but also for Japan’s ODA.”
JICA has put an emphasis on increased help for Africa’s 900 million people. It recently announced two major programmes to help double the continent’s rice production within 10 years and train some 100,000 local health care workers to tackle one of Africa’s most serious problems, the unacceptably high mortality and sickness rate among pregnant women, new mothers and their children. At the same time, JICA is providing 4 billion US dollars in Japanese ODA loans for African development in five years. Source : NEPAD, october 3, 2008
Ghana’s impressive development during his term of office had vindicated the principle that development in freedom was feasible and achievable, President John Kufuor told the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 24 September 2008. He told a distinguished audience at his final appearance at the UN that Ghana had shown that accelerated national development could go hand in hand with good governance and democracy.
He also told his audience that Africa had registered dramatic improvement in the past decade, and referred to NEPAD’s flagship programmes and the African Peer Review Mechanism.
Expressing appreciation to Africa’s development partners, he said there was still room for improvement especially in the continent’s effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Recounting the Ghana story, President Kufuor said he was sworn into office on a liberal democratic constitution with the same strong streak of morality as contained in the United Nations Charter that recognised the centrality of man in all endeavours.
Unfortunately, he said, he inherited a bad economy, a situation that compelled the country to sign up for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative to pave the way for the Government to access funds for various projects of reconstruction for which credit lines were difficult to come by.
With national determination and great discipline, he said, the country was able to achieve the HlPC completion point in record time to earn debt forgiveness of about $8 billion from bilateral and multilateral creditors.
That success led to increased inflows of domestic and foreign investments which enabled the Government to launch, among other social services, Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), as well as substantial developments in both second-cycle and tertiary level education, he said.
While pursuing social services, heavy investments were also being made in infrastructure in the areas of transportation, energy and telecommunication in anticipation of the accelerated growth of the economy.
In the meantime, President Kufuor said, a process to modernise the country’s agriculture through mechanisation had started to improve the welfare of the more than 60 per cent of society who were rural and depended on the sector for their livelihood.
Through these policies, the President said the nation was making strides in attaining its ambitious vision of a middle income status by 2015, which was also the date set for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
He said the impressive developments had been crowned by the discovery of oil in commercial quantities, which the Government had determined to make a blessing for the whole nation rather than a curse. Source : NEPAD, october 3, 2008
The African Science and Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII), a NEPAD agreement that would, among other things, help Malawi to conduct a survey to measure the impact of science and technology on national development was signed in Lilongwe on 23 September 2008 by the Principal Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Anthony Livuza, and the Acting Head of the NEPAD Office of Science and Technology, Prof. Aggrey Ambali.
The initiative would enable African countries to acquire better understanding of their national and regional science and innovation systems, exchange skills and promote international cooperation, Professor Ambali said.
”If science and technology is the powerhouse of economic development, we need to know how much it contributes to national development. As a continent and as individual countries, we need to quantify our strengths and weaknesses as a roadmap to our destiny. To progress, we really need to know what we have done and our shortfalls,” the Professor added.
Anthony Livuza, speaking in an interview after signing the pact, said the Malawi Government does not know accurately how much it invests in the education and technology sector or the number of university graduates and their contribution to the economy of the country.
The indicators survey would help the country to gather and analyse information on the progress and setbacks being experienced in promoting science and technology, and would enhance skills and better understanding of science, technology and innovation policy and development, he said.
“What cannot be measured cannot be managed. In an era of rapid technological change and globalisation, economic growth is increasingly dependent on research and development. The monitoring of industry, government and university research and development as innovation programmes is therefore crucial to successful decision-making.
“It is, therefore, important for Malawi to produce a set of relevant, accurate, timely, complete and reliable indicators,” said Livuza.
Establishment of the African science and technology and innovation benchmarks is a follow up to the Consolidated Plan of Action developed by African Ministers of Science and Technology in 2005 and adopted by the African Union Heads of State in 2007.
Malawi now becomes one of the 19 African countries earmarked to benefit from the pilot phase of the Swiss-funded initiative, which would help to measure the resources Malawi invests in research and development.
Professor Ambali dubbed Malawi as “a shining example” on the continent, citing the political will demonstrated by President Bingu wa Mutharika’s in establishing Lilongwe University of Science and Technology as a site for the promotion of research and innovation.
* ASTII is being implemented in Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and now Malawi. Source : NEPAD, october 3, 2008
Namibia is expected to play a key role in the NEPAD decision-making structures following its recent induction into the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC), according to the Deputy Chief Executive of NEPAD, Dr. Hesphina Rukato.
Dr. Rukato said the HSGIC has a greater role to play in making sure that the ownership of NEPAD and its programmes are received by the grassroots level as well as at national level.
This, she said, can only be achieved if governments including that of Namibia put in place a clear understanding and engagement process for their citiizens to ensure that implementation of NEPAD activities is practised daily and constantly.
"NEPAD belongs to the people and ownership of the people should be the key," she added.
Up until 2002, Namibia’s official position on NEPAD was unclear, except that civil society in Namibia had expressed reservations about it.
Civil society questioned the authenticity of NEPAD’s ownership by Africans : they said it was not developed in consultation with the grassroots people of Africa - as well as lacking a clear relationship to existing African institutions, among other factors.
There existed a fear that NEPAD would terminate social welfare programmes similar to the structural adjustment programmes of the IMF and the World Bank in the early 1990s. From the Government’s side, the inclusion of the political component in NEPAD’s African Peer Review Mechanism was questioned.
Although Namibia has embraced NEPAD and the agenda it drives, the country has yet to accede to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the voluntary review instrument by which governments are measured.
It is perceived that Namibia would not need to make any major changes in order to qualify for the peer review system as the country has been stable for much of its 18 years.
Furthermore, Namibia can claim to have one of the best governance systems in Africa from all the social, economic and political perspectives which are key requirements to accede to the APRM. Source : NEPAD, october 3, 2008
“The CAADP Implementation Guide is intended to be a key document in the implementation of the CAADP framework. The Guide offers practical guidance for all players from the Regional Economic Communities, the Pillar Lead Institutions through to the country CAADP teams on how to implement CAADP”, said Prof. Richard Mkandawire, Head of CAADP, in a statement on the workshop held on 24-26 September 2008 in Pretoria, South Africa, to streamline the existing CAADP Guide.
The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) – endorsed by the AU/-NEPAD in 2003 – is an Africa-led and Africa-owned initiative and framework to rationalise and revitalise African agriculture for economic growth and lasting poverty reduction.
In an attempt to achieve agriculture-led socio-economic growth governments have already agreed to increase public investment in agriculture by a minimum 10% of their national budgets – substantially more than the four to five per cent average they commit today.
The CAADP Implementation Guide is crucial in guiding and supporting regional and country CAADP teams — and indeed even the NEPAD Secretariat — in their attempts to implement and monitor CAADP.
The process to develop and continuously improve the CAADP Guide has been going on since February 2008.
According to Professor Mkandawire, the Guide is also valuable for the general public as it explains in simple practical terms what implementing CAADP entails.
However, it is important to note that the Guide is not a do-it-yourself manual. It is an articulation of key features of what it means to implement CAADP ; providing guidance to country and regional CAADP teams in elaborating their own processes and mechanisms (including work programmes) to realise the CAADP agenda within the context of the country’s development strategies and programmes.
Participants involved in the objective analysis and streamlining of the CAADP Guide included representatives from FARA, ReSAKKS, CAADP Lead Pillar Institutions and, pertinently, CAADP country team members.
During the discussions, participants focused on the following objectives :
To streamline the analytical work of the overall CAADP implementation process including roles for the pillar frameworks in the analytical work. To build coherent and synchronised analytical steps and benchmarks with clear roles and responsibilities of the different players. To fine-tune the flow of the country CAADP implementation process and the interaction of the pillars and other actors in supporting the process. To define capacity development and learning plans and processes for country and regional CAADP teams – with the aim of supporting implementation. The Guide is currently being edited and proof-read after which it will be packaged and published in different formats for wider public access and use. Source : NEPAD, october 3, 2008
World leaders met at the United Nations in New York on 22 September 2008 to assess Africa’s development at a time when the resource-rich continent, reeling from high energy and food prices, is behind the rest of the world in meeting poverty-reduction goals.
Representatives of more than 160 countries, among them French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the high-level gathering, a day before the 192-member UN General Assembly opened its annual general debate.
Cheick Sidi Diarra, UN special advisor on Africa, said the meeting would help to streamline actions and upgrade priorities toward implementing the NEPAD programme.
He warned, however, that Africa’s economic development still faced huge hurdles, including conflicts, internal public mismanagement and in some cases a lack of international support.
He stressed the need for "resolution and leadership... to turn existing African and international commitments into results" and urged the world community to show greater support.
In a report unveiled on 11 September, the UN Secretary-General warned that poverty reduction goals agreed by world leaders eight years ago might not be met by the 2015 target date, particularly in Africa.
His Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report 2008 was released ahead of another high-level meeting specifically on the MDGs on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
It noted improved data from the World Bank confirming that between 1990 and 2005, the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped from 1.8 to 1.4 billion and that the 1990 global poverty rate was likely to be halved by 2015.
But it highlighted the fact that many countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, were lagging in the race to achieve their development goals.
The Secretary-General also lamented a shortfall of (US)10 billion dollars in donor commitments. Total net aid from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries came to only 0.28 percent of their combined Gross National Income, as opposed to the UN target of 0.7 percent, he noted.
The recent meltdown of the global financial industry that led to the proposed 700-billion-dollars US Government bailout is likely to make donors even less willing to offer more help.
In 2000, a world summit at the UN agreed on eight development goals to be implemented by all countries by 2015. They included halving the number of people living below the poverty line — now set at 1.25 dollars a day — between 1990 and 2015.
The other goals focused on achieving universal primary education ; promoting gender equality ; reducing child mortality ; improving maternal health ; combating diseases such as HIV/AIDS ; ensuring environmental sustainability ; and creating global partnerships for development.
(UN news service)