Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

COMESA Regional CAADP Compact, draft for stakeholders' comments
Draft version 19
Circulated for stakeholders' inputs and comments
19 April 2010


Since 2000, agriculture has been recognized as the mainstay and key driver of economic growth, food and nutritional security and poverty alleviation in Africa. In ratifying the Maputo Declaration of 2003, African Heads of State and Government committed to effecting policy changes that will improve agricultural and rural development in Africa in the bid to meet Millennium Development Goal 1 which seeks to halve poverty by 2015, increase food security and eradicate hunger. These included African Governmentsí commitment in the allocation of at least 10 percent of national budgetary resources for agriculture and rural development.

The main objective of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) is to assist African countries reach a higher path of economic growth through agriculture-led development and attainment of at least 6% annual sectoral growth. Although continental in scope, CAADP is an integral part of regional and national efforts to promote growth in the agriculture sector which ultimately contributes to overall economic development within the common framework and process reflected in a set of key targets that have been defined by the Heads of State and Government to:
  1. Guide country strategies and investment programmes
  2. Allow regional peer learning and review; and
  3. Facilitate greater alignment and harmonization of development efforts
In aggressively pursuing the CAADP agenda as a holistic framework for agricultural-led growth, to date, seven countries within the COMESA region have successfully signed their national compacts. These include Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Uganda and Malawi. It is expected that Kenya, Zambia, Djibouti, Zimbabwe and Sudan will follow soon.

Cognizant of the global trend towards regional trade and economic integration and the threats of the environmental degradation, climate change, rising food prices and escalating levels of poverty food insecurity and hunger, and consistent with the policy guidelines, the COMESA Ministers of Agriculture have consistently called for a regional approach to expanding opportunities for agricultural production, enhancing regional food security, increased regional Trade and market access through research, value addition and trade facilitation. The key priorities for COMESA in consolidating its strategic objectives include implementing major programs in infrastructure, trade and agriculture. It is against this backdrop that the COMESA Secretariat has developed a regional compact that seeks to harmonise, align and standardize agricultural investment programmes in the region within the context of three strategic priorities:
  1. Increasing food output and productivity throughout the regional value chain: on farms, in processing industries, and in marketing;
  2. Developing priority regional trade and development corridors; and,
  3. Developing human and institutional capacities towards enhancing a conducive policy environment.
Central to addressing these two strategic priorities is the role of human and institutional capacity in re-aligning the COMESA regionís agricultural development strategy to the CAADP regional Compactís investment programme and implementation strategy.

In line with the overall African vision for an enhanced agricultural-led growth agenda, the regional compact will provide the guiding framework for attaining the regionís objectives of sustainable regional food security and enhanced regional integration.

COMESA has therefore endorsed the principle of moving from a national to a regional approach in dealing with regional food security issues through the implementation of a regional compact whose purpose is to support and enhance CAADP implementation programmes in COMESA member states through regional policies, strategies, investments, advocacy and institutional capacity building that will contribute to the achievement of the following key objectives:
  1. Achieve agricultural sector growth of 6% per year (Maputo Declaration 2003)
  2. Attain regional food self-sufficiency (Article 129, COMESA Treaty)
  3. Increase agricultural productivity in crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry for domestic consumption, exports within and outside the Common Market and as inputs into agro-based industries, and replacement of imports on a regional basis (Article 129, COMESA Treaty).
It is expected that the COMESA Regional CAADP Compact will reinforce the development of long-term coordinated strategies for agricultural development in the region; strengthen and establish viable regional partnerships for sustainable agricultural growth, and enforce guidelines for ensuring commitment by regional stakeholders to the implementation of the Compact for increased agricultural productivity and production.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the undersigned partners therefore agree, under the terms and conditions of the Regional Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Compact, to coordinate their support towards the achievement of the COMESAís Treaty through the implementation of identified regional investment programmes that will create and strengthen harmonised efforts at regional level as identified in the COMESA Treaty and draft agricultural strategy. Partners and alliances of this compact also expect that through the identified regional investment programmes, complementary support will be given to national level efforts and investment priorities that will enable member state governments to achieve a minimum 6% sectoral annual growth rate.

The undersigned partners to this COMESA Regional CAADP Compact include the following stakeholders:
  • The COMESA Secretariat
  • COMESA Ministers of Agriculture
  • The Private sector in the region
  • Farmer organisations such as EAFF and SACAU
  • The development partners community
  • Regional research institutions such as ASARECA
  • Regional policy institutions such as FANRPAN
  • Regional investment institutions such as ACTESA

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