TWENTY-THIRD REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR AFRICA
Johannesburg, South Africa, 1 - 5 March 2004
PROVISIONAL ANNOTATED AGENDA
1 – 3 March 2004
I. INTRODUCTORY ITEMS
1. Opening of the Technical Committee
2. Election of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Appointment of the Rapporteur
3. Adoption of the Agenda and Timetable
II. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION
4. Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of NEPAD:
4.1 Progress Review
- On-going national and Regional Economic Community programmes
- The Maputo Declarations of Ministers for Agriculture and Heads of State and Government
- The Commitment on budgetary resources and the need for 5-year medium term programmes and associated “Law Programmes” on agriculture and food security.
4.2 Integration of Forestry, Fisheries and Livestock issues in the CAADP
4.3 Implications of implementing the CAADP on fertilizer’s production and use in Africa
4.4 Establishment of Regional Food Security Reserves Systems in Africa
4.5 Financing the CAADP at national and Regional Economic Community levels
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) provides African governments, in collaboration with their development partners, an opportunity for renewed and re-focused efforts to reverse two decades of stagnating economic growth, low agricultural production and declining productivity, food insecurity and increased poverty in Africa. Within the context of NEPAD, FAO is continuing its provision of technical assistance to member states in the Africa Region. Notably, FAO has provided assistance for the formulation of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) in 2002, and the preparation of the Action Plan for its implementation along with major programmes at both regional and national levels in 2003. The AU Summit that was held in Maputo, 10-12 July 2003, endorsed the CAADP plan of action and its flagship projects for implementation.
The Declaration of the Maputo AU Assembly resolved to revitalise agriculture, including livestock, forestry and fisheries; prepare and implement projects under the NEPAD agriculture programme; establish food reserves linked to Africa’s own food production, and appealed for continuing co-operation by all concerned to enable Africa develop a prosperous and viable agricultural sector. As a way forward, taking into account the outcome of the AU Summit and in line with FAO’s mandate to member countries in the region, it is important that FAO assists to define a 5-year medium term programme for each country to implement and monitor the commitment to allocate within 5 years a minimum of 10 percent of the national budget to agriculture. It should also assist countries in the development of national and regional bankable NEPAD agricultural projects within the priorities defined by the Maputo Declarations, supplemented by two other priorities selected at national level by each country. At the same time, it is essential to take into account missing elements and to discuss issues and policy/institutional implications arising from the implementation of the CAADP/NEPAD programme. These issues include:
The conditions under which the mobilization of resources through the organization of consultative group meetings will be undertaken, will also be discussed.
5. Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) for Food Security in Africa
The integrated management of water resources for economic and social development as well as for environmental protection is one of the main strategic options suggested to African countries, for their long-term sustainable development. To achieve that, appropriate management approaches should be developed and adopted at different levels (starting locally by water users, to catchment level, national and regional level) and among the multiple users of water resources (agriculture, industry, environment).
Concerning the agriculture sector, it is recognized that the sustainable management of land and water resources is a key factor for agriculture development, and food production in most African countries. Indeed, land and water sustainable management, associated to other appropriate technologies and factors of production, can make a great impact on the productivity in agriculture. In that context it has been demonstrated in most African countries that water resources development through appropriate irrigation techniques and methods can contribute significantly to the achievement of food security and poverty alleviation. It is the reason why the NEPAD’s Action Plan for Agriculture Development Programme has highlighted the Land and Water resources development as one of the primary strategic elements.
The Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) for Food Security in Africa will have the following components:
In view of the importance of this Agenda item, especially to the Southern Africa sub-region, it is proposed that it is discussed in both the Plenary and in the Technical Committee. This would allow the possibility to cover various related issues, including drought mitigation and food insecurity (disaster prevention and management); as well as watershed catchment functions in relation to the International Year of the Mountains.
6. Follow-up to the WFS and the WFS: fyl. Regional Dimensions
During the World Food Summit (WFS) in 1996, world leaders pledged to eliminate hunger from the world and set the immediate objective of halving, by 2015, the number of hungry and malnourished. The WFS:fyl reaffirmed this pledge. Furthermore, the recent Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security at the Maputo AU Summit that endorsed the implementation of CAADP added impetus to on-going initiatives and activities in the Africa region. In this regard, this document intends to highlight key follow up actions that have been undertaken at the global, regional and national levels toward the achievement of the WFS goal. Special focus will be on those of the Africa region. The paper will assess progress made to date, and highlight lessons learned as well as essential measures for expediting the achievement of the WFS goal. In this light, special attention will be given to the review of the formulation/updating of national strategies for agricultural development and food security, 2015. The paper will also introduce the concept of five-year national medium-term programmes and associated “loi” programmes, and discuss the need for a quantitative budget commitment at regional or subregional level to achieve the goal of the World Food Summit.
III. INFORMATION ITEMS
7. The Initiative to Review and Update National Agricultural, Rural Development and Food Security Strategies and Policies
Towards the end of 2002, the Director-General launched the Initiative to Support the Review and Update of National Policies and Strategies for Food Security and Agricultural Development under which FAO will co-operate closely with its member countries in updating and improving their policies and strategies for agriculture and food security. To this effect, the conceptual framework has been developed.
The purpose of the conceptual framework is to propose a flexible general approach to addressing food security through agricultural and rural development and direct actions to enhance immediate access to food. The framework is developed on the assumption that the overall process will be demand-driven, and that member countries will maintain ownership of the exercise. Consequently, member countries will be responsible for setting the goals for their strategic planning, while ensuring co-ordination with other relevant initiatives and on-going programmes.
8. Contribution of Agricultural Research and Extension to Food Security and Poverty Reduction in the African Region
Productivity of agriculture per worker has declined and agricultural yields for many crops have stagnated or fallen during the past years. This situation has contributed to food insecurity and eroded the competitiveness of African agricultural products in world markets. To correct the problem requires Africa to significantly increase investment in technology generation, dissemination and adoption. Past experience shows that this can be achieved with strong political backing and commitment. An information item on this issue is important for two reasons.
Firstly, it would brief and inform African political leaders on the Fifth Chapter (Agricultural Research, Technology Dissemination and Adoption) of the Comprehensive Africa’s Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and its implementation process. Secondly, it could sensitize African Governments on: 1) major issues (policies, institutional issues, etc.) that would contribute to improvements in Agricultural Research, Technology Dissemination and Adoption to Food Security and Sustainable Development; and particularly 2) financing and institutional requirements necessary to making this contribution possible.
9. The Bushmeat Crisis in Africa: Conciliating Food Security and Biodiversity Conservation in the Continent
In Africa, various studies have stressed the importance of wild meat or bushmeat in providing the essential of animal protein requirement to both rural and urban households. For example, it has been reported that 75% of Liberia’s meat supply come from wild animals. In Côte d’Ivoire, over a million hunters harvested around 120,000 tons of wild meat in 1996. This was more than twice the yearly production of meat from domestic livestock. A recent study in West Africa estimated the trade value of bushmeat at US$ 150 to 160 million annually. In Central Africa, intensive hunting for wild meat has led to a serious threat of extinction of certain wildlife species such as gorillas, chimps and small antelopes.
In addition to the subsistence harvest by poor rural inhabitants for their protein needs, commercial hunting has also become an increasingly intensive activity by commercial hunters, who make large profit through over-exploitation of a readily available resource. Although generally considered illegal in many African countries, and currently under no formal regulation, commercial harvest of wild meat is still a serious threat, as hunting methods, not only are destructive to the wildlife population and sometimes to their habitat, but can also in some cases, be very harmful to game meat consumers.
Obviously, there are legitimate doubts about the sustainability of the use of bushmeat in much of Africa, and therefore, an urgent need to address the issue of environmentally destructive commercial hunting. The information note would raise awareness and facilitate the search towards sustainable options.
10. HIV/AIDS and the Food Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa
While the impact of HIV/AIDS on food security was presented and discussed at the Twenty-second Regional Conference for Africa, the situation created by the combination of the humanitarian crisis and HIV/AIDS calls for a new discussion. At present, 14.4 million people risk starvation in six Southern African countries where about 15 million are HIV positive and 1.1 million were lost to the disease in 2001. HIV/AIDS has been identified as one of the causes of this famine, and the single most important cause of vulnerability in the region.
HIV/AIDS is rapidly eroding the coping strategies used by African communities to survive and recover from drought and natural disasters. While in other famines the most frequent casualties are children and the elderly, AIDS will kill mostly productive adults, who are essential for recovery. The disease leaves behind orphans in large numbers without agricultural skills and knowledge. The nature of this crisis calls for a new kind of response, integrating emergency operations with longer term development interventions. The paper will provide an update of the status of the impact of the epidemic on food security and rural development and discuss concrete responses.
11. FAO Strategic Framework for Bridging the Rural Digital Divide
Many agree that knowledge is central to development, and that there are considerable resources of knowledge and information that could be made available to assist poor people in dealing more effectively with the root causes of their poverty. The new information and communications technologies (ICT), and increased priority and resources for information exchange, have the potential to improve the access to and benefits from this accumulated knowledge for the rural poor, as well as creating a more informed policy environment. However, a “digital divide” separates those most in need from the world’s information and knowledge resources. The “Programme for Bridging the Rural Digital Divide to reduce Food Insecurity and Poverty” makes the case for a new strategic Programme through which FAO will facilitate a global partnership to address the rural digital divide. The Programme will strengthen human and institutional capacities to harness information and knowledge more effectively for agricultural and rural development. This proposal responds to a real gap, not yet addressed in a cohesive way by the international development community. The rural digital divide is not only concerned with infrastructure and connectivity, but rather is a multi-faceted problem of ineffective knowledge exchange and management of content, lack of human resources and institutional capacity, compounded, obviously by an acute scarcity of financial resources.
12. International Year of Rice - 2004
Rice is a staple food in many countries of Africa and constitutes a major part of the diet of many others. During the past three decades, the crop’s importance has been growing. As a result of this, Rice is now an important food crop in the food security planning of many countries. In recognition of the crop’s importance, the UN General Assembly has endorsed the celebration of the year 2004 as the International Year of Rice.
Except for a few countries, which have attained self-sufficiency in rice production, rice demand exceeds production in most countries and large quantities of rice are imported to meet the demand at huge cost in hard currency. Africa consumes over 11.6 million tons of milled rice per year out of which 34% are imported. As many as 21 of 39 rice producing countries in Africa import between 50 and 99% of their rice requirements.
Africa’s inability to produce rice to self-sufficiency levels is indicative of the presence of major constraints in the rice industry, which require redress. This redress should seek to stem the trend of over reliance on imports to meet the increasing demand for rice.
The potential arable land in Africa is estimated at 637 million hectares with about 68% of the total in reserves. Africa therefore has a high potential for expanding its production. However, many constraints exist in rice production systems. These constraints require favorable policy interventions to expand rice production areas, to apply improved production technologies and improve post-harvest handling of paddy rice.
13. WAICENT Presentation
IV. OTHER MATTERS
14. Any Other Business
V. CONCLUDING ITEMS
15. Adoption of the Report of the Technical Committee
16. Closure of the Technical Committee Meeting
4-5 March 2004
I. INTRODUCTORY ITEMS
1. Inaugural Ceremony
2. Election of Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Appointment of the Rapporteur
3. Adoption of the Agenda and Timetable
4. Statement by the Director-General
5. Country Statements and General Debate on the Food and Agricultural Situation in the Region.
6. Report on FAO Activities in the Region (2002-2003)
III. DISCUSSION ITEMS
7. Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of NEPAD
8. Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) for Food Security in Africa
9. Follow-up to the WFS and the WFS:fyl. Regional Dimensions
IV. OTHER MATTERS
10. Any Other Business
V. CONCLUDING ITEMS
11. Date and Place of the Twenty-fourth FAO Regional Conference for Africa
12. Adoption of the Report (including the Technical Committee Report)
13. Closure of the Conference