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1-2 JULY 2003





1. Experts from Member States of the African Union met at the Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre, Maputo, Mozambique on 1st July 2003 to prepare for the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the African Union (AU) to be held on 2nd July 2003 at the same venue. The Experts were to discuss the state of agriculture and food security in Africa in 2003 and recommend actions that could be taken to enhance agriculture's contributions to economic growth, reduction of hunger and poverty as well as to sustainable food security. The meeting was also to focus on the operationalization of agriculture programmes under the AU programme, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

2. The Experts' work built upon earlier processes in the preparation and launching of the NEPAD Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), which was undertaken in close cooperation with the OAU, AU Commission, The Regional Economic Communities (RECs), FAO and other agencies between 2001 and 2003.

3. The meeting was attended by the following Member States of the AU: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

4. Representatives from Regional Economic Communities (ECCAS, SADC, COMESA, CEN-SAD, ECOWAS), United Nations Specialised Agencies (FAO, ECA), AU Commission, NEPAD Secretariat and other inter-governmental organizations; farmers/producers organizations and institutions in the private sector and Non-governmental and Civil Society Organizations also attended the meeting.

II. Opening Ceremony

5. The Minister of Agriculture of Mozambique, His Excellency Helder Muteia formally inaugurated the Meeting, which was chaired by Dr. Ismail Abdel Galil Hussein of Egypt. The Interim Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture in the African Union, Ambassador Lawrence O.C. Agubuzu, also addressed the Opening Session.

a) Statement by the Interim Commissioner of the African Union

6. In his opening statement, Ambassador Lawrence Agubuzu, African Union (AU) Interim Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Rural Economy and Agriculture, welcomed delegates to the meeting of Experts, which he expected to lay the groundwork for the meeting of Ministers of Agriculture. He thanked the Government of Mozambique for the excellent facilities, which had been completed in time to host the important event, and for the traditional hospitality accorded to participants.

7. The Interim Commissioner alluded to the challenges facing Africa's agriculture and urged the Experts to devise policy options for the consideration of the Ministers. He underscored the seriousness of the food insecurity problem and the importance of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and its Plans of Action, which, if properly implemented, would ensure food security in Africa.

8. Mr. Agubuzu concluded his opening remarks by thanking the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the support it extended to the African Union to hold the meeting and in particular to Dr. Jacque Diouf, Director General of the FAO for his consistent concern for the deteriorating food situation in Africa and for his personal efforts to find durable solution to this problem.

b) Statement by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mozambique

9. Before calling on the guest of honour to formally open the meeting, the Chairman observed that Africa could only face the challenges of food shortages, lack of technology and other obstacles through close cooperation. He also called for an early implementation of the NEPAD and other programmes on food and agriculture.

10. H.E. Helder Muteia, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mozambique, in his keynote welcomed all participants and paid tribute to them for making efforts to attend the meeting. He underlined the fact that the meeting was being held at a critical period when the African continent was experiencing serious poverty, disasters and epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria, which have considerable negative impacts on the agricultural production at the continental level. Africa, he said, was not benefiting from modern technological advances, a solution which needs to be reversed. Africa's import bill, he said, continued to increase while the export sector continued to fall, a situation he attributed to insufficient investment in the agricultural sector, fragile world markets and poor access to credit.

11. Mr. Muteia underlined the importance of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) for contributing to meeting the objectives of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and those of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The efforts of African governments to meet the goals of NEPAD, especially through the Abuja Declaration were underlined. In that context, the most important challenges facing Africa were to increase areas of low or under cultivation, for increased production and productivity; water management; reduced hunger and reduced impact of natural calamities.

12. Mr. Muteia concluded by thanking all the participants for their commitment. He also thanked the AU Commission and the FAO for assisting in the organization of the meeting.

III. Organization of Work

13. The meeting adopted the following working hours:

Morning: - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m

Afternoon: - 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

IV. Election of the Bureau

14. The meeting approved by acclamation the following Bureau:

V. Adoption of the Agenda

15. The Meeting considered and adopted the following Agenda:

1. a) Opening Ceremony  
  b) Organization of Work  
  c) Election of the Bureau  
  d) Adoption of the Agenda  
2.   The State of Food and Agriculture in Africa 2003. AU/MIN/AGRI/3(I)
3.   Responding to Agricultural and Food Insecurity Challenges: Mobilising Africa to implement NEPAD Programmes AU/MIN/AGRI/4(I)
4.   The Process of Converting the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) to Implementable Plans of Action at National and Regional Levels AU/MIN/AGRI/5(I)
5.   Presentation and discussions of Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre AU/MIN/AGRI/6(I)
6.   Other Related Matters  
7.   Consideration of the Draft Report of the Experts Meeting, including the Declaration  
8.   Adoption of the Report of the Experts Meeting, including Declaration  
9.   Closure  

VI. Consideration of the Agenda Items


16. In his presentation, the FAO representative briefed the Meeting on the importance and state of agriculture and food security in Africa. The presentation noted that agriculture dominates the economies of most African countries, employs about 60 percent of the population and contributes 20 per cent to the continent's export earnings. Despite this, the sector continued to be in crisis as manifested by low productivity. The latter contributed to the repeated famines and the high level of dependence on food aid. The representative also pointed to the continuing decline of Africa's share in global production and markets, a situation, which has undermined the continent's ability to influence world agricultural, trade and commodity policies and prices.

17. Furthermore, the FAO representative noted that Africa continued to allocate limited public and private resources to agriculture, resulting in the continent lagging behind other regions in terms of irrigated arable land, value added per worker, levels of fertilizer use, and productivity of both crops and livestock. Due to the under-performance of the agriculture sector, Africa continued to exhibit major economic failings, as witnessed by the over 240 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living on less than US$1 per day; widespread undernourishment; stark dependence on external food-aid; net importation of agricultural products since 1980, with an annual food import bill of US$19 billion; a halving of the continent's share of world agricultural exports from 8 per cent in 1971 - 1980 to only 3.4 percent in 1991-2000.


18. An Expert of the African Union Commission presented proposals for decisive response to the crisis situation of food security and agriculture in Africa. He drew the attention of the meeting to the inadequacy of actions undertaken to date, which had left Africa unable to feed itself and to achieve once again the net - food and agricultural exporter position it used to enjoy before 1980. Several reasons were advanced for this inadequacy, including: weaknesses of institutions, limited investment; frequent policy changes; and relative marginalisation of agriculture among national priorities. In the context of economic liberalization and structural adjustment, there was evidence of large-scale withdrawal of governments from supporting agriculture, which was making the sector unattractive particularly for private investors.

19. The AU Commission representative underlined that the NEPAD agriculture programme and its action plans was a framework for response, which focused on actions that could most quickly reverse the crisis. The proposals for response presented in the paper paid particular attention to mobilizing Africa for action under two main headings:

  1. creating enabling conditions for action (making agriculture attractive; focusing on a few actions and doing them well; mobilizing adequate and sustained funding - from governments, private sector and donors); and
  2. defining the roles of key actors (Member States, African Union and NEPAD, Regional Economic Communities, private sector, farmers' organizations and civil society).

20. Concluding, the representative of the AU Commission stressed the urgency to address Africa's dire situation, if the spectre of continued dependence on food aid was to be averted.


21. An Expert from the NEPAD Secretariat presented the process, outcomes, situation and way forward regarding the preparation of an Action Plan for implementing the CAADP. He noted that the process of preparing CAADP benefited from inputs from Experts, Regional Economic Communities and Organizations (RECs) and (REOs), Farmers and international organizations. The entire CAADP programme, he said calls for investment totaling some US$251 billion, out of which US$15.6 billion represented the cost of the first launch of projects. He stressed the need for further stepwise and progressive preparation of other programmes and for implementation at both national and sub-regional levels.

22. The NEPAD representative then proposed the following criteria for selecting NEPAD programmes and projects; namely that they should:

  1. add value to the operationalization of the NEPAD/CAADP;
  2. have a regional scope with high impact at national level and address issues of regional convergence and integration;
  3. comply with national and regional priorities as evidenced by commitment through cost sharing;
  4. be aligned with one or more of the pillars of CAADP;
  5. have clear and visible linkages to Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of reducing hunger and poverty by half by 2015 and gender disparities;
  6. promote the development, sharing and transfer of expertise.

23. In preparing the Action Plans, the following guiding principles should be underlined:

  1. The need for a progressive approach: successive versions of the Action Plan progressively representing all aspects of the overall Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and national NEPAD plans should also be formulated;
  2. African ownership: this is of fundamental importance and should be reflected through budget allocations and resources mobilization for agricultural investment within Africa;
  3. Lead role for national governments: with focus on ensuring an enabling environment for agricultural development by the private sector, including smallholders and on engaging the energies of the society; and
  4. Regional integration: with the particular role of promoting harmony in policies, strategies and priorities necessary for Africa to pull in the same direction and so achieve success and international significance.


24. In presenting the above programme, the Coordinator of the Pan African Programme for the Control of Epizootics (PACE) alluded to the importance of livestock for economic development of African countries and to its considerable potentialities, emphasizing that Africa was a net importer of livestock products. He informed the meeting of the activities of the AU's Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR) relating to the development of animal resources in Africa, and the implementation of livestock initiatives. The present focus of IBAR was on the promotion of trade in livestock and livestock products, both for domestic use and export, as well as for improving livestock productivity. He emphasized the need for a more concerted effort to develop more effective control strategies against major animal diseases, including harmonization of the African standards through institutions like the AU's Pan-African Vaccine Institute (PANVAC). He recommended that IBAR should be supported to continue to coordinate and develop programmes for animal resources initiatives arising from the AU Commission and NEPAD.

25. In the discussion that followed, a delegation called for an early conclusion of the Agreement on the hosting of PAN-VAC in order for PACE to extend its services to all regions of the Continent.


26. The Coordinator of the Pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) project, at the Commission of the African Union, recalled that the OAU Heads of State adopted a decision in Togo, in July 2000, to eradicate tsetse flies in Africa, which are a threat to human and animal health, and the cause of significant economic loss in the continent. Due to the trans-boundary nature of tsetse infestation, and the lack of appropriate drugs to treat the diseases caused by it, Africa's only option to address the problem is to eradicate the fly. He informed the meeting that successful eradication had been achieved in Zanzibar, and that the challenge facing the continent now was to replicate that success in other infested sub-Saharan African countries. The meeting was further informed about countries that had initiated tsetse eradication process and others, which had developed plans to initiate similar projects.


27. In the ensuing discussion, delegations raised serious concern about agricultural subsidies by developed countries and the distortions that they caused to Africa's agricultural trade. Structural adjustment programmes imposed on Africa, which only helped to divert resources from the sector, have compounded the situation. The need for increased investment in the sector, not only by the public sector but also particularly by the private sector, was emphasized. The meeting noted that the low investment in the sector has contributed to the current high spate of rural-urban drift, with its attendant negative impact on agricultural production. In view of the current situation in the agriculture sector, delegates underscored the need to create an enabling environment in order to make agriculture more productive and profitable. The meeting stressed the crucial issue of ownership of the agriculture programme by the countries, and the need for governments to give all necessary support to the prgramme through budgetary allocation and strong political commitments.

28. It was observed that restrictions on the free movement of citizens and goods impeded the promotion of agricultural trade in the continent. The programme on agricultural intensification and diversification should be extended to all regions in Africa. Delegations called for the establishment of regional strategic food reserves and infrastructure to address food shortages during emergency. In this context, regular dissemination of information on the food and agriculture situation in the various regions of the continent should be given due attention. The need for effective mobilization of resources for the early implementation of programmes on food and agriculture, and to monitor the level of resources mobilized from time to time was underlined. Emphasis was also placed on quality self-financing in the first place, before resorting to pledging conferences.

29. With regard to response to the agricultural and food security crisis facing Africa, the Meeting considered the proposed measures in the NEPAD CAADP as appropriate to address the dire state of food and agriculture in the Continent. It welcomed the focus on what Africa could do for itself, despite a hostile international environment for agriculture and agricultural trade. Furthermore, the Meeting agreed on the necessity to mobilize all key actors such as the Member States of the AU, RECs/REOs, the private sector, farmers' organizations and civil society in the implementation of the NEPAD Agricultural Programme.

30. It was considered important for all countries to integrate the NEPAD programme within the framework of their own poverty reduction and food security strategies. This would require preparation of proactive national plans of action for the implementation of NEPAD agricultural programmes, providing for prominent roles of the private sector and civil society, while increasing domestic resources allocated to the agriculture sector.

31. With regard to the NEPAD "Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme" the meeting agreed that long-term policy and institutional changes were needed but that while pursuing those, renewal of agriculture would require immediate action under the mutually supportive pillars of the CAADP.

32. The meeting called on all Member States and Organizations wishing to do so to submit written comments on the documents that had been considered by the Experts with a view to ensuring that they are more complete and reflective of the situation in all African countries.


i) General

33. The meeting recommended that the Ministers of Agriculture should:

  1. approve the process proposed for identifying and preparing the first tranche of NEPAD CAADP projects and programmes, and their progressive refinement in processing future NEPAD national and regional programmes and projects under future tranches of the Action Plan;
  2. take note of the provisional criteria and principles proposed for selecting NEPAD programmes and projects;
  3. approve the first set of flagship projects and programmes proposed by the NEPAD Secretariat under the NEPAD Action Plan for agriculture.

ii) For the attention of Governments

  1. The meeting recommended that African governments should be guided by the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in their agricultural development initiatives and, in that connection, that the Ministers request all Member States to:
  2. Governments and Regional Economic Communities should link the establishment of food-reserves with increased local production, so as to avoid reliance on food aid;
  3. Governments should mobilize additional funding, for the implementation of NEPAD agricultural programmes, including services, technology and other means necessary for interventions aimed at minimizing the adverse impact of HIV/AIDS on agricultural productivity. In this regard, equal importance should be attached to quality self-financing rather than focusing solely on external resources through pledging conferences;
  4. African governments should strengthen the process of monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the CAADP as well as accord priority to impact assessment;
  5. The implementation of the programme should include a determination of sequence of events, with indications on the requirements to be put in place before subsequent actions are taken;
  6. The agricultural and food production programmes should include livestock related activities, such as increased production and disease control;
  7. Governments should adopt an integrated approach to tackling the agricultural and food production problems of their countries with effective policy support that targets food security;
  8. Governments should strengthen agricultural research through appropriate institutional reforms and additional financing, as well as the adoption of new approaches including impact assessment strategy;
  9. African governments should allocate adequate resources to the eradication of tsetse flies and identify national and regional focal points to help with the implementation of the PATTEC project;
  10. Governments should cooperate among themselves and with the African Union to ensure successful implementation of PATTEC;
  11. Governments should provide every possible support to IBAR in order to enhance animal resource production and to assist the Bureau to extend its services to other parts of the continent not yet covered.

iii) For the attention of the African Union Commission and Regional Economic Communities:

34. The African Union Commission and the Regional Economic Communities are strongly encouraged to help focus Africa's energies and investments on the agricultural and food development in the continent. In this regard, they should promote early convergence among governments around the selected priority opportunities of strategic importance for food security, and for export development, in order to achieve for Africa the international recognition as agricultural producer, processor and trader.

iv) Appeal to partners

35. The Meeting appealed to the private sector and producer organizations in Africa to cooperate with governments in targeting the agricultural sector for sustained investment, to engage in policy dialogue aimed at creating conditions conducive to private sector activity in agriculture, and to assist in organizing farmers and strengthening their capacity for effective participation in agricultural endeavours.

36. The Meeting also appealed to the international community to strengthen partnership with Africa and to support materially and financially the NEPAD agricultural programme as a framework for Africa-led action.

37. The Meeting then considered and, after some amendment, adopted its Report including the recommendations for consideration by Ministers.

38. The meeting expressed its profound appreciation and gratitude to the Government and people of Mozambique for the warm hospitality extended to all delegations and for the excellent facilities provided. It also congratulated the Chairperson and the Bureau for the able manner in which they had guided deliberations during the session.

39. In declaring the meeting closed, the Chairperson expressed appreciation to all delegations for the support rendered to him and for the important recommendations which had been formulated for consideration by the Ministers.

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