Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
Agreement to undertake joint missions was reached following consultations between the Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD and the Deputy Executive Director of WFP in Abuja, Nigeria during the recent Food Security Summit.
Members of the mission to Ghana were : Ms. Boitshepo Bibi Giyose, NEPAD Senior Food and Nutrition Security Advisor, Prof. Mzobanzi Mboya, NEPAD Education and Training Advisor, Prof. Richard Mkandawire, NEPAD Agriculture Advisor and Head of Unit, and Ms. Ute Meir, Deputy Chief, WFP School Feeding Services. Ms. Trudy Bower, the WFP representative in Ghana assisted with the mission coordination in Accra.
The objectives of the mission were :
To learn from the Ghana home-grown school feeding programme (HGSFP) ;
To draw lessons for possible replication in other countries ;
To discuss options with development partners for resource mobilisation to up- scale the Ghana HGSFP.
Issues and lessons emerging from the mission :
The Ghana HGSFP has received high level political endorsement. The programme is located in the Presidents office and is steered by a Cabinet sub-committee which meets regularly to monitor progress.
The programme covers all major regions of the country.
While the government has committed financing to the programme, the principal donor is the Government of the Netherlands, which is considering expanding its financing to 40 million Euros in the next four years.
While the programme has a secretariat located within the office of the President, it lacks technical capacity and there is an absence of a well defined mechanism for coordination. The programme has as a consequence been generally perceived as a “push” programme rather than a “pull” programme.
Key Ministries, notably Agriculture and Education are peripheral to the programme. The Netherlands Embassy as a key funder has expressed concern about the absence of a well coordinated mechanism.
Given the high level of political will to support the programme, coupled with the infrastructure that has already been established, there is a strong case for providing external support to the programme, particularly in reinforcing positive elements that are embodied into the programme.
In view of the emerging interest in promoting the home grown school feeding programme by African leaders, it was agreed during the mission that a regional consultative meeting should take place on the programme in Ghana, just before the AU Summit scheduled in July 2007.
The mission to Ghana provided the team with new insights into both the challenges as well as opportunities to the Ghana programme.
The mission concluded that the Ghana HGSFP cannot be labelled as a ‘model’ yet. However the various stakeholders noted that there are lessons to be learnt and documented from which other countries can benefit.
There is also a strong need for analysis of the Ghana programme and to set in place strong monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
The mission noted that the WFP office in Ghana must be commended for its robust engagement with stakeholders in the country in the promotion of a genuine home grown school feeding programme. The fact that the mission was able to meet a wide cross- section of stakeholders at very short notice is a reflection of the confidence stakeholders have in the WFP office.
Addressing the World Food Programme Executive Board in Rome in October 2004, the Chief Executive of the NEPAD Secretariat said :
The home grown school feeding programme is one of the programmes, under CAADP, which has been identified by NEPAD as having immediate impact on food insecurity in Africa with the potential to contribute to long-term development goals.
The programme not only targets the most vulnerable groups in Africa, but also has the potential to expand local demand and stimulate production by smallholder farmers.
If we could feed our school children with wholesome meals made from food grown and processed in our own countries, we would be providing 50 million children with adequate nourishment, we would be stimulating agricultural productivity, and we would have gone some way to addressing demand side constraints.
In addition there are the substantial economic benefits from :
Improved school enrolment, attendance and student performance through the provision of nutritious meals.
The creation of local jobs and market opportunities through the local purchasing of products.
Coordinated by NEPAD, agencies such as the World Food Programme (WFP), the Millennium Hunger Task Force, United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Bank, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are cooperating on the programme. Source : NEPAD News, april 5, 2007