Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Executive Summary

1. Background

African Ministers of Agriculture met at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy on 9th June 2002 under the auspices of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa. They held the special follow-up session meeting to review an earlier draft of this document - the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) - prepared by FAO in co-operation with the NEPAD Steering Committee. Extracts from the report of their meeting are produced as Annex 1. It can be seen that the Conference welcomed and endorsed the CAADP and agreed on the need to quickly operationalise it; it offered guidance to member governments on a wide range of aspects of operationalisation and action to revitalise African agriculture. What follows is the full CAADP document after some adjustment to reflect some comments received on the version presented to the Ministers, including their desire to see research included as a pillar for action.

Clearly, a programme on agriculture must remain living and open to continuing improvement and also be open to interpretation for each of Africa's sub-regions in order to best address that continent's diversity. This document therefore offers a broad frame of priorities from which more precise strategies and programmes can be derived for operationalisation.

Africa is a rural continent and agriculture is extremely important. For the region as a whole, the agricultural sector accounts for about 60 percent of the total labour force, 20 percent of total merchandise exports and 17 percent of GDP. The latest figures (for 1997-99) show that some 200 million people - or 28 percent of Africa's population - are chronically hungry, compared to 173 million in 1990-92. While the proportion of the population facing hunger is dropping slightly, the absolute numbers are rising inexorably. During the 1990's declines in the number of hungry have been registered in only 10 countries. At the end of the 1990's, 30 countries had over 20 percent of their population undernourished and in 18 of these, over 35 percent of the population were chronically hungry. As of 2001, about 28 million people in Africa were facing food emergencies due to droughts, floods and strife, of which some 25 million needed emergency food and agricultural assistance. To reflect its particularly difficult situation, the World Food Programme - which accounts for two-fifths of international food aid - has spent US$12.5 billion (45 percent of its total investment since its establishment) in Africa and 50 percent in 2001. Food aid gives evidence of considerable external dependency: in 2000 Africa received 2.8 million tons of food aid, which is over a quarter of the world total.

In line with the rise in the number of hungry, there has been a progressive growth in food imports in the last years of the 20th century, with Africa spending an estimated US$18.7 billion in 2000 alone. Imports of agricultural products have been rising faster than exports since the 1960s and Africa as a whole has been a net agricultural importing region since 1980. Agriculture accounts for about 20 percent of total merchandise exports from Africa, having declined from over 50 percent in the 1960s.

Until the incidence of hunger is brought down and the import bill reduced by raising the output of farm products which the region can produce with comparative advantage, it will be difficult to achieve the high rates of economic growth to which NEPAD aspires. People suffering from hunger are marginalised within the economy, contributing little to output and still less to demand. Investing in reducing hunger is a moral imperative but it also makes economic sense. Agricultural-led development is fundamental to cutting hunger, reducing poverty (70 percent of which is in rural areas), generating economic growth, reducing the burden of food imports and opening the way to an expansion of exports.

2. Areas of Primary Action

As currently formulated, the proposed initiatives under the NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) focus on investment into three "pillars" that can make the earliest difference to Africa's agricultural crisis plus a fourth long-term pillar for research and technology. The fundamental mutually reinforcing pillars on which to base the immediate improvement of Africa's agriculture, food security and trade balance are:

3. Investment Estimates

The implementation of the programme will be undertaken at regional level in co-operation with regional economic organisations and unions and also at national level. NEPAD can add value to national action by promoting convergence of country programmes towards complementary or shared priorities. This would enable African producers to not inadvertently undermine each other in the international marketplace but instead to collaboratively carve out a significant market share for selected products for which the region can be competitive.

Preliminary estimates suggest that required investment in the main pillars between now and 2015 would have the orders of magnitude given below and in Table 2. Converting them to reality will involve the formulation of specific bankable projects; a task for which NEPAD may wish to involve its external partners as Africa pursues implementation. The total outlay for the period 2002 to 2015 (including operations and maintenance) for the four pillars is some US$251 billion, apportioned as follows:

The above implies an annual investment in core activities under the "four pillars" of some US$17.9 billion between 2002 and 2015, including operations and maintenance costs. As can be seen, the CCADP pays attention to safety nets and emergency-related food and agriculture.

It is noteworthy that the gross 2002-2015 investment requirement is, at US$17.9 billion per annum, equivalent to just over 90 percent of Africa's annual cost of agricultural imports of nearly US$19 billion. The safety nets component of this investment includes programmes such as school-feeding, designed to increase school attendance, especially for girls, and to provide nutritious food to the poorest of Africa's school age children. Table 4 shows one scenario of investment apportioned among various main sources.

4. Africa's Contribution to Investment

It is believed that an important part of funding can come from investments by the beneficiaries themselves and from domestic resource mobilisation. For many countries however, additional Official Development Assistance (ODA) and private inflows will be required, in line with the spirit of Monterrey. Indeed, in connection with Monterrey, the three Rome-based UN agencies for food and agriculture issued a joint statement communicating a vision of shared responsibility2.

Africa's own commitment to funding agriculture should be seen against a background of re-emerging international recognition that funding agriculture is vital for sustainable development. Worldwide, industrial countries (which can easily do without agriculture and still prosper), continue to finance their agriculture sectors heavily. Yet Africa, with some 70-80 percent of its people dependent on this sector is withdrawing state support for the sector; the evidence is that the consequences are grave. Financing for agriculture under this NEPAD CAADP is therefore based on the dual assumption that Africa itself will increase its level of investment and that its external partners will come forward and support it.

On this basis, the CAADP presents a preliminary estimation of what Africa itself can reasonably afford to invest, leaving the rest to be raised at the international level. The broad assumptions given in Chapter 1 suggests that Africa should progressively increase its domestic contribution to agricultural investment from a current base estimated at somewhere over 35 percent to some 55 percent by 2015. Under this scenario, Africa's expected contributions to investment under NEPAD agriculture could be summarised as shown in Tables 1 and 4. These estimates exceed by a considerable margin the levels of investment observed to date (see Appendix Table 9). It should be noted that the African share covers both public and private funding. To achieve it in practice will require deliberate insertion of NEPAD allocations in national and regional economic groupings' budgets; more importantly, it will require putting in place policies that can make agricultural investments attractive to both the region's own private sector and to international capital.

5. Enabling Conditions for Action

Much of the investment under the main pillars is into the "hardware" of development - it is intended to respond to the crisis situation facing African agriculture. Yet Africa also needs to address many other "software" issues if it is to permanently reverse the declining trends of the agricultural sector. A brief outline of these "software" concerns - many focused on creating an enabling environment3 - is presented in Chapter 1.

In the preamble, it has been stressed that enabling factors require medium to long term attention and that Africa needs to continue paying attention to them even now when rapid action may appear to be all that is needed. It has also been said that the rapid action proposed is possible because there is already some available capacity, technology and enabling policy/institutional factors upon which the priority investment pillars approach can be based. Thus in justifying the focus on investment for action under the mutually reinforcing "pillars" that can make the earliest difference to Africa's dire situation, the preamble has stated that science and technology, policy and institutional reform, capacity building and other long-term enabling factors should be integrated into implementation of all the "pillars".

It is an underlying assumption that the creation of enabling conditions will go hand in hand with investment, otherwise it becomes an empty exercise, with little hope of success or of acceptance by Africa. Thus, for example, to a considerable degree due to lack of accompanying investment, the decades-long efforts at structural adjustment of African economies, policies and institutions have shown few discernible benefits, except in isolated cases.

1 IFAD, 1998: IFAD Framework for bridging post-crisis recovery and long-term development. International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome. Executive Board, 64th session, Document EB 98/64/R.8. From

2 FAO / IFAD / WFP (2002): Reducing poverty and hunger: the critical role of financing for food, agriculture and rural development. Paper prepared for the International Conference on Financing for Development, Monterrey, Mexico, 18-22 March 2002. The report (revised version, May 2002, page 4-5) states, inter alia: "The responsibility for escaping from hunger and poverty rests first and foremost with the individuals themselves, and then with their families, communities and governments. . . . . The proportion of public expenditure which developing countries now devote to agricultural and rural development and food security is, however, far from adequate, especially in countries where food deprivation is higher, implying a need to adjust public finance policies. However, the international community has important roles in supporting national endeavours, . . . . . especially those of low income countries, to meet the costs of the necessary investments to the extent that these cannot be met by their own resources."

3 It may be noted that in its Action program for Africa, the Kananaskis Summit of the G8 (25-27 June, 2002) also focused on enabling conditions as reproduced in the extracts of Annex 2. This focus makes the support of Africa's potential leading external partners complementary to the immediate action focus of the CAADP. The two approaches can be synergistic and it is hoped that no party will seek to pursue one as an alternative to the other but as mutually reinforcing areas of emphasis.

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page