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Friday, March 11, 2016

PermSecs reiterate commitment to accelerate agriculture in Africa

The second retreat for the Permanent Secretaries ended in the city of Accra, Ghana with reiteration to accelerate agricultural transformation across the continent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The retreat, NaijaAgroNet also reports was aimed at accelerating the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) to transform agriculture in Africa, assembled over 100 participants including Permanent Secretaries and CAADP Focal persons of Ministries of Agriculture, Rural Development, Livestock and Aquaculture and the Regional Economic Communities. 

Declaring open the expert gathering convened by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the NEPAD Agency in Accra, the Ghanaian Minister for Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed-Munira Limuna noted that even though the agricultural sector is faced with numerous challenges such as low uptake of modern technologies, depleting natural resources especially water and climate change negative impacts, solutions that could be adopted to counter them at national level should be sought and implemented.

In addition, NaijaAgroNet gathered that the retreat provided space for Permanent Secretaries to reflect on several thematic and policy factors, especially on the El Nino and implications on agricultural transformation and food security; Trade and industrialization drive and implications for agriculture; and Land tenure systems and trends and implications for the Malabo commitments.

They also focused on validating the revised Country CAADP Implementation Guidelines.  This includes modalities for monitoring and evaluation, reporting and accountability including operationalisation of the African Union Biennial CAADP Review Cycle.  Country perspectives were also sought on CAADP-Malabo Financing Architecture; technical networks arrangement to mobilise and make accessible expert support arrangements, and; revising the CAADP partnership architecture. 

NEPAD’s Head of Programme Development, Mr. Martin Bwalya told participants that the outcomes of the meeting will clarify the necessary measures needed to achieve the CAADP Malabo Declaration targets for results and impact in agriculture, food security and nutrition.

While the AUC Director for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Dr. Janet Edeme, reiterated one of the critical objectives of meeting as being “The review of progress in implementing CAADP and the guidelines developed to help guide countries in implementation.” 

NaijaAgroNet recalls that permanent secretaries are the primary custodians of government policy and practice.  They are also the overall accounting officers in their government ministries, thus putting their offices and mandates at the centre in driving institutional reforms and overall transformation in national development goals.
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