Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Validation Workshop for 2007 AETS

4-5 December 2008. Pretoria, South Africa. A workshop of top civil servants, members of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and development partners, convened by NEPAD, endorsed the 2007 draft report on the agriculture expenditure tracking system (AETS).

The 2003 African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, adopted the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) as a framework for contributing to the attainment of food security and poverty reduction goals in Africa. To increase investment in agriculture development, the 2003 AU Summit further adopted a resolution to encourage member countries to commit at least 10% of the annual national budget to agriculture and rural development by 2008.

In this regard, the AU/NEPAD is mandated to monitor and report to AU Summits the progress made achieving the 2003 AU-Maputo 10% target. Accordingly, the AU/NEPAD, with support from the World Bank and the FAO, conducted a comprehensive survey during 2008 to assess the progress African countries had made in 2007 in complying with the 2003 AU Maputo decision.

The AU/NEPAD convened a workshop for senior civil servants from 4-5 December, 2008 in Centurion, Pretoria, South Africa to review, discuss and approve both the survey report and the guidance note to implementation of the tracking system and identify the measures to accelerate national attainment of at least 10% allocation to agriculture development. The workshop also discussed the attributes and components of the future tracking system to monitor compliance with the 2003 AU-Maputo decision.

At the end of the two-day deliberations, the workshop:

  • Endorsed the report, and reaffirmed the importance of increasing investment in the agriculture sector;
  • Noted the inadequate progress by member countries towards meeting the Maputo 10% target. Only 19% allocate more than 10% of the national expenditure to agriculture development and most countries (57%) continue to spend less than 5%;
  • Observed that the current tracking system is narrow and does not capture and analyse all key components, including budget allocations in line with CAADP priorities;
  • Noted that many African countries are not submitting data to enable AU/NEPAD to monitor compliance with the 2003 AU-Maputo decision; and
  • Appreciated that the current data collection methodology is inadequate to facilitate timely preparation of reports and recommendations to influence decision-making.

Professor Mkandawire addressed the participants at the Pretoria validation workshop: “What is our preparedness for international foundations who are willing to invest in African agriculture? There is a new set of players (India, China, Brazil) and targets.”

Keeping a Check on Budget Allocations to Agriculture, NEPAD Dialogue. Issue 255, December 12, 2008