Yaounde, Cameroon 21-25 February 2000
PROGRESS REPORT ON THE COMMON AFRICAN AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMME (CAAP)
Background and Purpose of CAAP: A Recapitulation
CAAP Development Principles and Efforts (1994-1998)
The Contribution of the 20th Regional Conference and Subsequent Developments
The Case for a "Second Track" in the Development of CAAP
Foundations of the proposed "Second Track" to CAAP
Requested Actions by the Regional Conference
The idea of a Common African Agricultural Programme (CAAP) was born in 1992 as part of the early thinking in the African and international development communities on the operationalization of Article 46 of the young Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community (AEC).
CAAP was thus conceived as an organizing tool for the pursuit of the agricultural cooperation and integration objectives of the AEC, summarized by the Treaty, in Article 46, as:
To cooperate in the development of agriculture, forestry, livestock and fisheries in order to:
To serve as such a tool, CAAP must serve the specific agricultural cooperation and integration purposes and areas also identified by the AEC Treaty, namely: the promotion of intra-African cooperation in:
1. the production of agricultural inputs, fertilizers, pesticides, selected seeds, agricultural machinery and equipment and veterinary products;
2. the development of river and lake basins;
3. the development and protection of marine and fishery resources;
4. plant and animal protection;
5. the harmonization of agricultural development strategies and policies at regional and Community levels, in particular, in so far as they relate to the production, trade and marketing of major agricultural products and inputs; and
6. the harmonization of food security policies in order to ensure:
As recalled by the OAU/AEC Secretariat in the Strategy and Approach to the Implementation of the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community - presented to the Experts' Meeting of the First Ordinary Session of the Economic and Social Commission of the AEC (AEC/ECOSOC), held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 6 to 7 June 1996, and underlined in the report on CAAP to the 20th FAO Regional Conference for Africa - the AEC Treaty, and the idea of CAAP, are products of a long succession of high level African commitments to regional cooperation and integration as cornerstones of African development. Notable among the formal embodiments of these commitments are:
The above-mentioned declarations, decision, plans and position documents have been traditionally regarded as logical and political extensions of the founding charter of the OAU itself, which committed its members in Article II to the coordination and intensification of their economic and technical cooperation, notably in the areas of education and nutrition. In that sense, the OAU Charter itself has been seen as adding to the long list of foundation documents underlying the AEC Treaty.
As was to be expected from the foundations of the AEC Treaty itself and therefore of CAAP (agreed by the FAO Regional Conference for Africa and the policy and legislative organs of the OAU and the AEC as an operational instrument of the AEC), the CAAP process was governed and bound to be governed by the African consensus on the development of economic and technical cooperation among African countries in general and the guidelines on agricultural cooperation and integration contained in Article 46 of the AEC Treaty, in particular.
An important part of this consensus, validated by the 18th FAO Regional Conference for Africa which first considered CAAP, was that the CAAP process had to be informed by the positive and negative experiences of the African cooperation and integration movement - and to be fully located within the overall AEC building strategy of basing the Community and its organs, institutions, policies, programmes and projects on the mobilization, participation and support of African populations, civil society, the enterprise sector, organized labour and Community-based and Non-Governmental Organizations, among others.
Based on this "CAAP consensus", the 18th FAO Regional Conference further agreed that:
These understandings led the 18th FAO Regional Conference, after endorsing the idea of CAAP, to:
- accept, inter alia, the recommendation in the draft FCAAP document that its consideration and approval processes should involve all the relevant macro, sectoral and policy organs of the OAU and AEC prior to its submission to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for final endorsement;
- support the substantive principles and strategies underlying the FCAAP document released by the OAU Secretariat as a basis for regional and international consultations and decisions by the Governing Bodies of the AEC and OAU; and
- request that the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of CAAP be a standing item on its agenda, in order to ensure the Conference's continuing participation in the process.
At the end of its consideration of CAAP, the 19th FAO Regional Conference, meeting in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in 1998, inter alia:
- noted that response by Member States to requests addressed to them for observations and comments on the revised CAAP framework document had been slow, but that the OAU/AEC Secretariat should proceed with the finalization of the document immediately. As it received over 50 per cent of responses from Member States to its request of 9 February 1995, to present such a document to a planned meeting on Food Security in 1997/98 (which was to proceed with the Second Reading of FCAAP); and
- appreciated actions taken by the Sub-Regional Economic Communities in connection with the implementation of programmes and activities consistent with the objectives of CAAP.
The 19th FAO Regional Conference's concern about the slow response of Member States to requests for comments and observations on the revised CAAP document sent to them in February, 1995 for review was based on information before it that, as at January 1996 (one year after the requests were made), responses had been received from only eight (8) Member States.
To help move the effective development of CAAP forward, the Regional Conference agreed to request Member States to cooperate more closely with the OAU Secretariat in accelerating the process of adopting the CAAP framework, the immediate objective being the completion of the second and third readings of the framework document.
It may be recalled that the attention of Member States was drawn at the 20th Regional Conference in Addis Ababa in 1998 to the CAAP development stages endorsed by the 18th Regional Conference in Gaborone in 1994 and further reinforced by the 19th Regional Conference in Ouagadougou. These include:
The Regional Conference's further attention was drawn to the fact that the conditions had not been met for the planned "Second reading".
The 20th FAO Regional Conference consequently :
Following the 20th Regional Conference, the FAO Regional Representative for Africa, at the request of the OAU/AEC Secretariat, under cover of a transmittal letter from, and through FAO Representatives (and, where necessary, UNDP Representatives) in the Region, distributed all background documents on CAAP to Member States to facilitate their response to the requests for observations on the CAAP framework documents and mobilization of various stakeholders for its development and eventual implementation, as requested.
The momentum generated by the Regional Conference in Addis Ababa and the combined follow-up action by the AEC Secretariat and FAO have permitted progress to be made to the extent of bringing Member States' response to the request for their comments and suggestions on FCAAP just short of the minimum 50% response rate recommended by previous Regional Conferences as required for the "second reading".
Nine countries have also designated CAAP focal points, as requested by the 20th Regional Conference.
While these developments are encouraging, acceleration of the CAAP process would suggest a need to pursue the formal adoption of a CAAP Framework document as part of the agenda of CAAP development while considering a second available option for realizing its contributions to agricultural cooperation and integration in Africa along the lines indicated by Article 46 of the AEC Treaty.
The responses from Member States to the CAAP Framework document, while numerically insufficient for consideration of its " second reading", do fortunately have the merit of providing potential vitality to the " second leg" of the CAAP development process.
The case for a " second track" in the development of CAAP rests essentially on the premise that while the adoption of a CAAP Framework document would provide a useful supplement to the guidelines on agricultural cooperation and integration in Africa enshrined in the AEC Treaty itself, CAAP is and should be about goals and process - not necessarily a document.
The case is reinforced by the following considerations, among others:
- recognition in the CAAP Framework document, and by successive Regional Conferences, of the fact that the AEC Secretariat, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), other African Inter-Governmental Organizations (notably several river and lake basin development and management Organizations), FAO and other international agencies were already embarked on initiatives and activities that advanced CAAP aims and processes without being specifically under the umbrella of the Programme;
- guidance from successive Regional Conferences, reinforced by comments and suggestions by a number of Member States regarding FCAAP, on the need to build CAAP on the foundations provided by the legislative instruments, programmes, policies and activities and achievements of the RECs;
- recognition that the decentralization to the RECs and deconcentration to other concerned African Inter-Governmental Organizations of appropriate cooperation and integration arrangements and activities would promote ownership of relevant components of CAAP by Member States by increasing their effective leadership and control of the integrative processes nearest and dearest to them;
- while FCAAP has highlighted a number of policy and technical issues and choices (for instance, a CAAP based trade strategy within the post-Uruguay international trading environment, including for agricultural commodities; food security etc), those issues and choices now require to be settled or negotiated in the more manageable settings of RECs and other appropriate Inter-Governmental Organizations, pending, at least, further development of the AEC;
- the fact that CAAP, like the AEC itself, is designed to be an instrument of (sub)regional as well as regional or continental development; and
- the need, as an intended tool of the AEC, for CAAP development to be closely aligned with the methodology adopted for the establishment of the Pan African Economic Community itself.
Without prejudice, therefore, to the importance of an agreed CAAP Framework document but bearing in mind the need to accelerate progress on CAAP development - whatever the status of FCAAP - a second track is proposed for the development and implementation of the Programme in which the identification, formulation or strengthening of relevant agricultural cooperation and integration mechanisms, schemes, projects and activities - in cooperation with the RECs and other concerned IGOs - will be privileged over the adoption of framework documents at any level.
As a first step towards the development and implementation of the "second track" the following set of activities would be needed, not necessarily in a chronological order:
- requests by Member States to their designated CAAP focal points - and those to be designated - to work towards the installation of CAAP development (through purpose built programmes or the addition of "CAAP dimensions" to existing or planned agricultural cooperation and integration schemes at the sub-regional level) on the agenda of the policy organs of the RECs and other concerned IGOs and re-affirmations by the respective policy organs of commitment to CAAP;
- inventory of major agricultural cooperation and integration activities in Africa - regional, sub-regional, inter-sub-regional and natural resource based , with the view to identifying:
- those already serving present AEC Treaty/CAAP purposes;
- those that could be expanded or strengthened to serve AEC Treaty/CAAP purposes, in addition to their originally intended ones; and
- areas where new activities need to be promoted to serve AEC Treaty/CAAP purposes.
- arrangements for mobilizing the necessary institutional, human, financial and other resources - at the national, sub-regional, regional and international levels - for developing, implementing or strengthening sub-regional CAAPs (Sub-CAAPs) and Resource or Programme based Cooperation and Integration Activities and Schemes of an inter-sub-regional nature.
Responsibility for the development, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes, projects and activities based on the above foundations will have, necessarily, to be located at the mandated action levels.
For coordination and Pan-African Economic Community building purposes the action levels should liaise on " second track " activities with the appropriate AEC organs, in accordance with the AEC Treaty; the Protocol on Relations between the AEC and the RECs; or other appropriate instrument.
The Regional Conference may wish to:
- endorse the "second track" proposal outlined above;
- commend the "second track" to Member States and invite the policy and legislative organs and Secretariats of the AEC, the RECs and the concerned IGOs to do the same - and to assist the appropriate support and operational agencies, within their fields of competence, in laying the foundations for CAAP development through it;
- renew its request to Member States to designate CAAP focal points in their respective Ministries;
- further urge Member States to designate CAAP focal points in their Embassies accredited to the OAU/AEC and their OAU/Africa Desks in their Ministries of Foreign/External Affairs - to facilitate their diplomatic involvement in CAAP development, including the necessary promotion of CAAP at the legislative and policy organs' meetings of RECs and concerned IGOs, in cooperation with CAAP focal points in the Ministries responsible for agricultural/rural development;
- request the Director-General to continue to support, to the extent possible, the development and implementation of CAAP, including through the " second track", as appropriate; and
- further request the Director-General to continue to monitor progress on the development of CAAP, including responses by stakeholders, to the " second track", and report to the 22nd FAO Regional Conference for Africa accordingly.