CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF AGRICULTURE OF THE AFRICAN UNION
1-2 JULY 2003
CONSIDERATION OF THE AGENDA ITEMS
CONSIDERATION OF THE DRAFT DECLARATION FOR THE ASSEMBLY OF THE AFRICAN UNION AND ADOPTION OF THE REPORT
AU SUMMIT DECLARATION ON AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY IN AFRICA
MOTION OF THANKS TO H.E. JOAQUIM CHISSANO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOZAMBIQUE
RECOMMENDATION TO THE AU HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT TO COMMEND AND DECORATE H.E. DR. JACQUES DIOUF, DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO)
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
1. The First Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the African Union (AU) was held in Maputo on 2nd July 2003. The meeting discussed issues related to agricultural production and food security within the context of the NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme. H.E. Joaquim Chissano, President of the Republic of Mozambique, opened the Conference. It was addressed by H.E. Amara Essy, Interim Chairperson of the AU Commission, Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chairperson of the Steering Committee; Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director General of the FAO.
2. The following Member States of the AU attended the Session: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Congo, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Libya, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
3. Representatives from Regional Economic Communities (ECCAS, SADC, COMESA, CEN-SAD, ECOWAS), United Nations Specialised Agencies (FAO, WFP, IFAD, ECA); NEPAD Secretariat and other inter-governmental organizations; institutions in the private sector, civil society organizations, including farmer/producer organizations also attended the meeting.
4. The Opening Ceremony was presided over by H.E. Helder Muteia, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mozambique. In welcoming the Guest of Honour, H.E. Mr. Joaquim Chissano, President of the Republic of Mozambique, Ministers and other dignitaries and delegates, the Minister expressed the delight of Mozambicans at the honour done to Mozambique in hosting the First Session of the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the African Union. He expressed his hope for a successful conference and finally called upon the first speaker, Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chairman of the Steering Committee of NEPAD, to make a statement.
5. Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chairman of NEPAD Steering Committee, observed that Africa was currently facing an agricultural crisis. The Continent he observed, was experiencing devastating famine and natural disasters. While the Continent's production in the agriculture sector had decreased, it's import of food and dependency on food aid had been on the increase. Prof. Nkuhlu attributed this situation to climate change, poverty, lack of enabling policy, environmental degradation, conflicts, poor international market conditions and economic mismanagement amongst others. Africa, he observed, was not likely to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Indeed, the level of poverty and the number of undernourished would likely increase.
6. Prof. Nkuhlu was encouraged that for the first time and with the coming into being of NEPAD, Africa had a vision, and that through the CAADP, has placed agriculture at the top of the development agenda in the continent. He called for the preparation of similar programmes at the sub-regional and national levels. In that regard, he underscored NEPAD's readiness to engage the international community, through the framework created by the Heads of State, to ensure that priority actions in the agriculture sector received due attention. He finally thanked the FAO, the AU Commission and the Government of Mozambique for organising the conference.
7. Dr. Jacque Diouf, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) thanked the President of the Republic of Mozambique, H.E. Joaquim Chissano, and the People of Mozambique for welcoming delegates to the meeting and stressed that the presence of H.E. the President at the meeting was a testimony to his political commitment to the welfare of the rural population in Africa. He highlighted the factors accounting for the low level of performance of African agriculture, including low yield, under-utilized water resources, low use of fertilizers and grossly insufficient infrastructure. Dr. Diouf was appreciative of the adoption of NEPAD by African leaders, which demonstrated their determination to reverse the current unsatisfactory state of the agricultural sector in the continent.
8. The Director General of FAO then emphasized the need for African governments to implement, in earnest, the CAADP and its evolving plans for agriculture development at national, regional and sub-regional levels; organize consultations at various levels involving key stakeholders, for development of strategic plans and actions to get the private sector interested in agriculture and in the development of commercially viable farming; and promote and directly support the identification and preparation of bankable projects in agriculture as well as engage in mobilizing resources to implement them and to invest in sectors essential for agricultural growth and development.
9. Dr. Diouf reaffirmed the commitment of FAO to assist Africa in its efforts to implement the NEPAD Agricultural Programme and concluded by calling on African governments to demonstrate their political commitment through the allocation of more resources to agriculture, in order to achieve poverty reduction and sustainable development.
10. In his address at the opening ceremony, H.E. Amara Essy, Interim Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union expressed his satisfaction with the opportunity offered to Africa to make a giant step towards the implementation of the agricultural programme of NEPAD. He thanked the FAO for its support and the Mozambican authorities for having accepted to host the Conference. He recalled the major events that had marked the evolution of the agricultural programme, stressing that the convening of the present Conference was necessary and timely.
11. The Interim Chairperson appreciated the close cooperation among all stakeholders, which was manifested in the preparation of the CAADP action plans. The Plan of Action before the Conference, he stated was a logical sequence of the regional programmes on Food Security aimed at the reduction of food insecurity and poverty on the continent. The Interim Chairperson was confident that the Plan would contribute to rapidly reverse the negative agricultural development trend and thereby demonstrate the realism of African leaders through the NEPAD vision.
12. Recalling the main prerequisites for the successful implementation of the Plan, including a clear distribution of tasks among the various stakeholders, Mr. Amara Essy called on participants to urge the African governments to take all necessary steps towards the harmonious implementation of the Plan. He pledged to personally ensure the effective implementation of the decisions of the Conference, by the AU Commission.
13. In his opening remark, H.E. Joaquim Chissano, President of the Republic of Mozambique, welcomed the Interim Chairperson of the AU Commission and the Director General of FAO, as well as Ministers and other delegations to Mozambique. He reminded the meeting of the forthcoming Summit of the Assembly of the African Union which would consider issues related to the implementation of NEPAD, including the agricultural component of the programme.
14. President Chissano recalled that the majority of Africa's population was living in rural areas and that agriculture constituted their major employment and is the mainstay of the economy of the Continent. As a result, he called on Africa to invest in small farmers through the provision of appropriate technological capacity in order to improve production for the achievement of food self-sufficiency. For that purpose, it would be necessary to strongly engage the private sector whose current level of engagement in agriculture stood at 5%. The President asserted that the private sector could contribute valuable input into agricultural research and development for increased productivity of the sector.
15. Regarding the NEPAD programme, the President underscored that it provided for fostering strong support to agriculture, land resources conservation, poverty eradication, food security and technological development, amongst many other initiatives. As an action programme of NEPAD, the CAADP on the other hand, if successfully implemented, would contribute to changing Africa's food-aid dependency status and coordinating and synchronizing approaches to addressing common problems, thereby facilitating rapid progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
16. In conclusion, President Chissano reminded the Ministers that Africa was pegging its hopes on NEPAD to get the Continent out of its current social and economic misery. He then called the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture to carefully reflect on the issues and policies needed to solve the Continent's agricultural problems. He wished the Conference successful deliberations and officially declared it open.
17. The meeting adopted the following working hours.
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
18. The Conference adopted the following Agenda:
Facilitator: Prof. Firmino Mucavele
Welcome address by H.E. Helder Muteia, Minister of Agriculture of Mozambique
Speech by Prof. Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chairperson of NEPAD Steering Committee (with Video Presentation on NEPAD)
Speech by Dr Jacques Diouf, FAO Director-General
Speech by H.E. Amara Essy, AU Commission Interim Chairperson
Opening address by H.E. Joaquim Chissano, President of the Republic of Mozambique
Election of the Bureau
Adoption of the Agenda
Presentation of the Report of the Experts Meeting, including the Declaration
Presentation: Chair of the Experts Meeting
Discussion and Consideration of the Report of the Experts Meeting, including the Declaration
Adoption of the Report of the Ministerial Meeting
19. The Chairperson of the Experts Meeting, in his presentation, informed the Conference that the Report was a draft and that it might contain gaps that would be filled. He then gave an overview of the opening ceremony, the working arrangements and the agenda of the meeting and a brief account by the various technical papers that had been presented, the discussions that followed the presentation and finally the recommendations that the Experts had submitted for the consideration of the Ministers.
20. In the discussion the Ministers expressed the need for including in the CAADP Report other issues under agriculture, such as fisheries and livestock and animal and plant diseases. Furthermore, they expressed concern on the slow process of implementation of agricultural programmes and called for the urgent implementation of CAADP to achieve desirable transformation in the agricultural sector. In addition, they advocated for enabling policies for the development of other sectors, such as industry and trade that would directly influence growth and development in the agricultural sector. For the purpose of making progress, the need to be forthright and to identify those actions or inactions that hamper economic development in general and agricultural development in particular, was underscored. Africa should embark on division of labour and specialization in order to avoid production of the same things by all countries. Ministers also called for ingenious ways of subsidising agriculture to enable the small farmer to produce more. The proposal by the Experts to promote inter-African trade was supported, as well as the need to allocate more resources to the agriculture sector. In that regard the Ministers argued that a higher percentage of the national budget should be allocated to agricultural development
21. On the technical papers presented on the CAADP, the Conference called for prominence to be given to the promotion of maize and cassava for the enhancement of food security.
22. Furthermore, the meeting proposed that information exchange on food situation (security) be strengthened, as well as the campaign against HIV/AIDS pandemics and other infectious diseases, in order to enhance and harness the potential of the youth.
23. The meeting recommended that the Ministers of Agriculture should:
24. In response to certain questions raised on the issue of resources for financing the CAADP, the Chairman of NEPAD Steering Committee clarified that the priorities embodied in the framework were for the purpose of allocating financial resources for implementation, including additional resources from the G8 for regional agricultural projects, many of which would be eligible for grants. NEPAD, in cooperation with FAO, would provide support for the preparation of national CAADP related projects for the purpose of securing funding.
25. The Interim Commissioner of the AU complemented by stressing the necessity of submitting well-prepared projects, with the support of NEPAD, likely to attract funding from Africa's development partners, taking into account the priority the AU attaches to regional projects.
26. The representative of the Mozambican President on the NEPAD Steering Committee also complemented by identifying the four broad categories of resources, as well as the role of science and technology in the revitalization of African agriculture.
27. The meeting of Ministers undertook a detailed consideration of the Draft Declaration prepared by the Experts and made several amendments to enrich and improve it for the Heads of State and Government. It then adopted the Draft Declaration and the Report of the Ministerial meeting with the amendments; authorised the Commission to finalise them under the leadership of the Chairperson; and to circulate same to all Member States. It also authorized the Chairperson to submit the Draft Declaration on behalf of the Conference, to the Chairperson of the NEPAD Implementation Committee for transmission to the Second Ordinary Assembly of the AU Heads of State and Government.
28. Before the formal closing of the meeting, the Ministers decided to move a Motion of Thanks to H.E. President Chissano of Mozambique and a Motion of Appreciation to H.E. Jacques Diouf, the Director General of FAO. The texts of these Motions are attached.
29. In his closing remarks, the Chairman thanked all his colleagues, the AU Ministers of Agriculture for the honour done to his country and himself in being trusted to lead Africa in the important area of food and agriculture. He was appreciative of the support from his colleagues, and of their constructive proposals, which had enabled the meeting to adopt important decisions relating to the implementation of the NEPAD programme. He then called on all Member States to focus on priority activates which would contribute to poverty reduction, accelerated growth and development in a sustainable environment in a prosperous Africa. He concluded by expressing thanks to the Experts, the AU Commission and the NEPAD as well as the FAO and all other UN Agencies for their support.
30. His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture of Ghana, Honourable Courage E.K. Quashigah, moved the Vote of Thanks on behalf of his colleagues. He paid special tribute to H.E. President Chissano, the Government and People of Mozambique for their love and warm hospitality; and to the Chairman of the meeting Honourable Helder Muteia for the able manner in which he had directed the deliberations.
31. The Ghanaian Minister also extended special thanks to H.E. Amara Essy, Interim Chairperson of the AU Commission; H.E. Dr. Jacques Diouf, FAO Director General; Prof. Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chairman of the NEPAD Steering Committee; and to Ambassador Lawrence Agubuzu, the AU Interim Commissioner responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development. He equally thanked Africa's development partners, the media and interpreters.
32. He concluded by appealing to all Member States to have faith in Africa and to show love to each other in order to ensure the success of the African Union.
33. The Chairman then declared the meeting closed.
Submitted by: THE CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF AGRICULTURE OF THE AFRICAN UNION
We, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), assembled in Maputo at the Second Ordinary Session of the Assembly, 10 to 12 July, 2003;
Concerned that 30 percent of the population of Africa is chronically and severely undernourished; that the Continent has become a net importer of food; and that it is currently the largest recipient of food aid in the world;
Convinced of the need for Africa to utilize its full potential to increase its food and agricultural production so as to guarantee sustainable food security and ensure economic prosperity for its peoples;
Noting with Satisfaction the collaborative effort of the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Secretariat, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and FAO, with member Governments and other partners in the preparation of the CAADP;
Recalling the Declaration of the Heads of State and Government, in their capacity of Chairpersons of the Regional Economic Communities in Abuja, Nigeria, December 2002;
Convinced of the need to address the root causes of agricultural crises in Africa, aggravated in particular by inadequate funding, the lack of adequate water control and management, poor rural infrastructure and neglect of agricultural research, as well as the threat of HIV/AIDS;
Recognizing that it is Africa's responsibility to reinvigorate its food and agriculture sector for the economic prosperity and welfare of its people;
The Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the African Union, meeting at its 2nd Ordinary Session in Maputo, Republic of Mozambique on 2 July 2003,
Conscious of the tremendous effort deployed by the Government and People of Mozambique to organize the 1st Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the Member States of the African Union and the excellent facilities provided for the meeting:
We, African Ministers of Agriculture, meeting at the Second Ordinary Session of the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the African Union, on the 2nd day of July 2003;
Having considered the immense contributions of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), under the dynamic and purposeful leadership of H.E. Dr. Jacques Diouf;
Having noted with satisfaction the unreserved commitment of Dr. Jacques Diouf to the full development of the agricultural potentials of Africa, and through, that to the eradication of hunger and poverty in the continent;
Aware of the invaluable support given by the FAO to the African Union's Programme of the New Partnership for Africa`s Development (NEPAD) in the formulation and elaboration of the comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and its Action Plans;
Resolved and decided as follows: