Thursday, 17 July 2014
Commissioner Tumusiime presents the theme of the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU Heads of State and Government; urges leaders to recommit to the principles of CAADP
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – , 2014 – On June 27 at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government, the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace presented to the Heads of State and Government, the theme of the Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa; “Transforming Africa’s Agriculture for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods through Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development.”.
During her address, Commissioner Tumusiime, stated that the theme echoed the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU, centered on “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance,” as well as the vision of the pan-African transformative Agenda 2063.
“Ensuring an inclusive and transformative agricultural growth that builds the self-reliance of the African citizenry, including food and nutrition security is central to re-asserting African dignity. The debate between member states, public and private organisations culminated in the provision of strategic direction, guidance for renewed and heightened commitments on concrete goals and targets in advancing Africa’s agricultural growth and transformation agenda for the next decade,” she said.
AU Member States were also urged to recommit to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) as it had helped elevate agriculture to the center of Africa’s development agenda.
“We have witnessed progress on the allocation of public expenditures to agriculture, which have been increasing at an average rate of 7.4% per year since the adoption of CAADP”, said Mrs Tumusiime. “Member States have been making efforts to meet the CAADP target of allocating at least 10% of public expenditure to agriculture; and most importantly they are seeing the benefits of according primacy to this strategic sector.”
The address by Commissioner Tumusiime preceded a high-level panel discussion facilitated by Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency with the Executive Secretary of UNECA, Dr. Carlos Lopes, President of IFAD, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze and Director General of FAO, Dr. José Graziano da Silva. This culminated into a debate by Heads of State and Government which among other conclusions, noted that Africa’s leaders needed to commit to interventions for the realization of a food and nutrition secure and poverty free Africa and also towards mutual accountability to actions and results through a periodic, possibly biennial agricultural review process.