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Commissioner addresses food security in Africa

Commissioner addresses food security in Africa

Addis Ababa, 26th January 2012 – During her press conference on 26th January, Mrs Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture (in photo), gave a brief report on the issue of agriculture and food security, in context of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP); and climate change in relation to COP 17.

The Commissioner’s focus on the first issue stressed the main purpose of the CAADP, which is to motivate African countries to “increase national budgetary allocations to agriculture to at least 10% so as to ensure agricultural growth of 6%”.The African Union Commission , specifically the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, has strived for CAADP to reach its goal, by coordinating multi-institutional support of the preparation of agricultural sector investment plans both at country and regional levels.

Commissioner Tumusiime said that out of the 54 member states of the AU, 30 have already responded to the CAADP 10% strategic plan, and a number of them have surpassed the 10% requirement. This shows great commitment, she said.

The Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture will continue to oversee the operation and growth of CAADP. In order to do so, medium and long term strategies will be set up to tackle pressing agricultural matters such as that of the of drought and famine in the Horn of Africa. In response to one question posed by one of the journalists over what Africa is doing to help combat the crisis in the Horn of Africa, Mrs. Tumusiime responded by saying during the African Union Mobilization Conference, which was held at the African Union last year, pledges in the form of money were made and a number of organisations have donated food to help fight the famine. So far $8 million has been raised and strategic plans are being set up to prevent any foreseeable famine threats.

A revision of CAADP will take place to ensure that the current strategies continue to accelerate. These strategies will be achieved by “identifying any possible gaps; strategizing how to effectively and efficiently plug them in; and dealing with the evolving issues of a strategic nature.”

On the subject of climate change Commissioner Tumusiime highlighted the vital structures that the AU has introduced to show Africa’s commitment to contributing to global efforts. The structures comprise: the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC); the African Ministerial Council on Environment (AMCEN) and the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) as well as the Commission of the African Union (AUC). The last one was responsible for formulating the African Common Position around which African delegations rally during global climate change negotiations.

These structures participated in the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) in Durban South Africa 2011. The conference agreed on a number of important matters that need to be addressed this year. The Commissioner said that full implementation of the Cancun Decision of a Green Climate Fund (GCF) to support developing nations, as adopted at COP 16 in 2010 in Cancun, is one of the priorities for the African Union.

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