NEPAD and G8 Meet to Advance Africa's Agricultural Development Agenda
African representatives met with those from eight leading countries of the industrialized world (Japan, Russia, UK, France, Italy, Germany, USA, and Canada), known as the 'G8', in Bamako, Mali during March 15-18 to identify early actions to accelerate agricultural progress in Africa. The discussions centered around ways to jump-start NEPAD's Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).
The meeting was convened by ECOWAS (The Economic Community Of West African States) with assistance from the NEPAD Secretariat; and from USAID representing the G8 countries. More than 200 participants attended, including senior staff from NEPAD, ECOWAS, FARA, CORAF, The World Bank, The African Development Bank, USAID, civil Society, NARS, NGOs and the CGIAR. Dr. Saidou Koala represented the Desert Margins Program and ICRISAT.
CAADP sets specific targets for achievement by the year 2015, including 6 percent annual production growth particularly benefiting small-scale farmers and women; integrating farmers into a continent-wide, dynamic market economy and exporting into world markets; achieving an equitable distribution of wealth; gaining strategic position in agricultural science and technology; and fostering environmentally-sound, sustainable agricultural development.
The discussions were lively. Early actions identified by the meeting are:
The participants want to have concrete action plans on the table for the NEPAD Heads of State who will meet on April 20-22 in Accra, Ghana. Such actions need to be implemented and show impact within the following twelve months.
Drafting teams are now busy writing up short concept notes involving multiple partners. ICRISAT and the DMP for example are working with CIMMYT, ICRAF, IFPRI, IITA, IWMI and WARDA to develop several concept notes on small-scale irrigation, fruit tree, and seed systems development.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a programme of the African Union designed to accelerate sustainable development across the continent. The highest authorities of the NEPAD implementation process are the Heads of State and the Government Summit of the African Union, formerly known as the OAU. The Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSIC) comprises 3 states per AU region. The HSIC reports to the AU Summit on an annual basis. The NEPAD Secretariat coordinates implementation of projects and programs approved by the HSIC.
The Steering Committee of NEPAD comprises the Personal Representatives of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government. This Committee oversees projects and program development.
About the G8
The G8 is a group of the eight major industrial nations. It includes Japan, Russia, UK, France, Italy, Germany, USA, and Canada. The Heads of State of these eight countries meet annually to discuss a wide range of economic, development, and other issues.
On the margins of the 2001 Genoa Summit, G8 Leaders met with several African Leaders who introduced the New African Initiative (now known as the New Partnership for Africa's Development). G8 Leaders gave their support to this initiative by designating personal representatives to follow up the process.
The G8 Africa Action Plan was adopted at the Kananaskis G8 Summit on June 27, 2002. The Action Plan helped define a new partnership between G8 countries and those of Africa and set out specific commitments in support of NEPAD.