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

Towards a COMESA Regional CAADP Compact
Framework for the Development of a COMESA Regional CAADP Compact
13 August 2010


The value of the COMESA Regional CAADP Compact lies in the delineation of strategic regional investments that individual countries, acting alone, cannot achieve. The Compact serves to accelerate individual country agricultural growth by enabling them to benefit from regional spillovers and economies of scale in technology, human and policy development, as well as in trade and investment.

A two-pronged approach was adopted in the development of the COMESA Regional CAADP Compact (the Compact) which was composed of a desk review and stakeholder consultations. The desk review involved: 1) reviewing the mandate of COMESA in terms of its responsibilities towards the agriculture sector and its existing institutional arrangements; 2) taking an inventory of regional implementing institutions; and 3) conducting a stock-take of ongoing regional programmes related to CAADP. Stakeholder consultations were done electronically and face-to-face. Stakeholders consulted included policymakers, farmersí groups, civil society, the private sector, research organisations, regional networks, agriculture agencies, and development and technical partners. The consultations focused on: 1) gaining consensus on the priority areas of focus for the Compact; 2) identifying gaps in the ongoing regional programmes; and 3) identifying potential investment programmes (see Annex 1 & 2).

In the process of designing the Compact the following outputs have been generated: 1) a database of regional institutions with relevance to programme implementation; 2) a framework document providing the context within which the Compact was developed and highlighting the existing and recommended programmes and institutional arrangements that will need to be developed to achieve food security, end hunger, and achieve economic growth in the region; and 3) the draft COMESA Regional CAADP Compact.

The next step in completing this process involves the singing of the Compact and the designing of investment programmes. The Compact will serve as a commitment by the stakeholders to develop and implement the investment programmes within the priority focus areas, according to agreed upon roles and functions. After the signing of the Compact, investment programmes will be developed and funding mechanisms will be agreed upon. The Regional Investment Programmes for Agriculture or RIPA will be a compendium to the Compact.

The three priority areas identified under the Compact are: (i) Food Systems Productivity; (ii) Trade, Infrastructure and Agricultural Development Corridors; and (iii) Human and Institutional Capacity Strengthening. For each one of these priority areas, the framework document provides justification, an inventory of existing programmes, gaps identified by the COMESA stakeholders, and suggestions on a holistic approach to maximising the potential of each of these priority areas to achieve CAADP goals.

A Compact Programme is proposed under each of the priority areas. The Priority Compact Programme takes into account the existing COMESA programmes, the gaps identified, and the elements required for a holistic approach. Given the focus and progress made by both ACTESA and by the North-South Corridor Model Aid for Trade Programme, it is recommended that the programmes for Compact Priorities 1 and 2 be anchored on these. It is also recommended that the programme for Priority 3 - Human and Institutional Capacity Development should be consolidated on gains made by ongoing initiatives being implemented by sub-regional organisations (EAFF, SACAU, FANRPAN, ASARECA, and RUFORUM) and ReSAKSS.

All three priority areas identified by COMESA will have spill over benefits beyond the COMESA region. This opens an opportunity for the scaling up of the COMESA Regional CAADP Compact within the tripartite framework. The tripartite refers to the collaboration between the COMESA, East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to accelerate integration between the three RECs. Indeed, the Priority Compact Programmes identified in the COMESA Regional CAADP Compact would have maximum impact if implemented across all three RECs.

At the COMESA third joint meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources held in Lusaka, Zambia on the 15th of July 2010, the Ministers decided that:

Given the progress made on the Tripartite Agreement between COMESA, EAC and SADC, Member States should take this development into consideration and approve further development of the COMESA Regional Compact within the tripartite framework. The Tripartite CAADP Regional Compact will have to be approved and adopted by the three RECs.

Member States which have not signed their compacts accelerate the process to complete their CAADP stock taking exercise and signing of the compact by December 2010 in line with the Ministers decision at their second meeting in Victoria Falls in 2009;

Member States establish multi-sector, multi-stakeholder CAADP Country Teams and provide them with adequate technical and financial capacities and to work closely with the continental Resource Group, in both Pre- and Post-Compact phases;

The next steps that are envisaged on the development of the Compact include:
  • Discussion of proposed areas of regional investments and agreements between the three Regional Economic Communities: COMESA, EAC and SADC;
  • Approval and adoption of the Tripartite CAADP Regional Compact by the three RECs;
  • Signing and launching of the Tripartite Regional CAADP Compact;
  • Development of Regional Investment Programmes for Agriculture (RIPAs);
  • Establishment of recommended institutions;
  • Implementation of investment programmes; and
  • Annual reviews of RIPAs.
A list of proposed signatories to the Compact is provided.

As the process of developing the Compact comes to its conclusion, it is important for all stakeholders, including COMESA, to realize that the signing of the Compact is not an end in itself. Instead it is the beginning of a set of activities and programme work aimed at operationalising the Compact. The Secretariat should take the process forward by ensuring the finalisation of long-term institutional arrangements/structures that can co-ordinate CAADP investment programmes.

This framework document is presented in six sections highlighting the: 1) Introduction to COMESA; 2) Agriculture in COMESA: Importance, Challenges and Opportunities; 3) The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP); 4) Development of Regional CAADP Compacts (the rationale for a regional approach); 5) Proposed Priorities for the COMESA Regional CAADP Compact; and 6) Implementation framework for the COMESA Regional CAADP Compact.

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