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Making agriculture a future for youth in Africa

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The African Union - European Union Agriculture Ministers Conference

2 July 2017, Rome, Italy

2017 is a defining year for strengthening the partnership between Europe and Africa. The 5th Africa-EU Summit in November 2017 is a key opportunity to give a new impetus to this partnership. Profound economic and societal transformational changes are taking place in Africa. The demographic growth is extraordinary: according to United Nations projections, Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, from 1.2 billion people to 2.4 billion of predominantly young people. The International Monetary Fund estimates that the continent needs to create 18 million new jobs each year up to 2035, to absorb new labour market entrants, compared to the 3 million jobs per year currently created in the formal economy.

Challenges such as poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition could very well be exacerbated by this population growth. Nevertheless, over the past two decades, Africa demonstrated impressive economic progress and positive transformations, providing new and unique opportunities, such as growing and increasingly integrated markets, a dynamic SMEs sector, natural resources and fertile soil. It is in within the context of improving rural livelihoods for Africa’s young populations that the AU Malabo Declaration, in its commitment to halving poverty on the continent by 2015, resolved to ensure inclusive Agricultural Growth and Transformation on the continent and to this end, recommitted to create job opportunities for at least 30% of the youth in agricultural value chains.

The EU is also at the crossroads: discussing its own future direction but also the future of its relations with the Countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific after the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020. The EU is Africa's closest neighbour, first foreign investor, first trading partner – offering free access to the EU market via Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), Free Trade Agreements and the “Everything but Arms initiative”, first partner in development and principal source of remittances. On the other hand, the African governments are progressively negotiating the Continental Free Trade Area aimed at boosting intra-Africa trade. Moreover, Africa’s demographic trends and the increasing mobility and migration add a new dimension to the need for a common agenda to promote sustainable economic development in Africa, in order to create the jobs that the continent needs and to make the most of the opportunities it offers.

Responsible investments in rural areas and the agricultural economy, value chains and integrated markets, accompanied by a better focus on research and innovation and the sustainable management of natural resources, with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and digitalisation as important enablers, have a key role in fostering economic growth, job creation and development in African countries. Agriculture plays a substantial role in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in any sustainable future as it is intrinsically linked to issues such as jobs, food, air, climate change, water, soil and biodiversity. The vision for agriculture-led economic growth and prosperity is consistent with the AU’s Agenda 2063’s first Aspiration of “A prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development” as read in conjunction with the sixth Aspiration – “An Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by its people, especially its women and youth and caring for children”. To this end, the proposed theme of the November AU-EU 5th Summit is befitting and paramount. Young people and women combine as a big segment of the demographic pie in Africa and empowering the youth and women with ‘agropreneurial’ skills and capital must be among this decade’s three-top most priorities.

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AU-IBAR Strengthens Capacity of IGAD Member States in Project Proposal Formulation and Management

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© 2017 AU-IBAR. Livestock Market.© 2017 AU-IBAR. Livestock Market.A 5-day training workshop on project proposal formulation and management was organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in collaboration with ICPALD/IGAD within the scope of the Surveillance of Trade Sensitive Diseases (STSD) and the Reinforcing Animal Health Services in Somalia (RAHS) projects for IGAD Member States (MS) from 22nd-26th May 2017 at Eureka Place Hotel in Kampala, Uganda.

Program and/or Project proposal development and management are essential in any development process. In most of the African countries, livestock programmes and projects are often poorly designed and inadequately targeted, leading to the inefficient and fragmented allocation of scarce development resources. Policies related to the livestock sector are often incoherent with ill-defined goals and with little or no assessment of their likely impact. The lack of consistent, integrated strategies, programs and projects that focus limited resources on identified and attainable goals remains a major constraint to livestock development. The African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) has been developing and implementing programs and projects in African countries since its establishment in 1951. One of the major gaps identified is the inadequate capacity of Member States in developing and implementing programs and projects at national level in line with the latest international best practices. It is against this background that led MS to seek support from AU-IBAR to enhance their capacity in the development and implementation of relevant, competitive and bankable project proposals in order to mobilize resources from various partners and ensure implementation for results. The initial phase involves all the African MSs starting within the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA) region.

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85th General Session of OIE - 21st - 26th May 2017 - Paris, France - African Common Positions

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Technical Item 1

ItemComment / Africa Position
Technical Item I :

Global action to alleviate the threat of antimicrobial resistance: progress and opportunities for future activities under the "One Health" initiative

(Rapporteur : Mme. Khadija Id Sidi Yahia)

Africa sincerely congratulates the rapporteur for the excellent way in which he has conducted, evaluated and conveyed the results of the survey amongst OIE Member Countries. Africa is especially encouraged by the data reflecting the awareness and commitment amongst the majority of the 54 African Countries Members of OIE. We fully support the recommendations of the rapporteur especially as it relates to encouraging inter sectorial cooperation; continuation of regional workshops and the implementation of OIE standards as it relates to the use of antimicrobials and preventing the development of antimicrobial resistance in the animal sector. Although still difficult to fully implement in several African countries, Africa supports the recommendation that countries should be encouraged to change national legislation to require a veterinary prescription before delivery of antibiotics.
Technical Item II:

Public-Private Partnerships: expectations of private sector partners for international animal health and livestock development programmes
(Rapporteur : Dr. Samuel Thevasagayam)

Africa congratulates the rapporteur and co-workers for this excellent presentation. Africa fully supports the plea of the rapporteurs that Member Countries should make a concerted effort to create an enabling environment for the successful establishment and outcome of public-private partnerships especially as it relates to facilitate such partnerships with enabling legislation, good veterinary governance and the accountability of the veterinary service in such relationships.
Some Member Countries unfortunately had the unfortunate experience that some partnerships were not sustainable beyond the partnership period resulting in distrust for the establishments of partnerships. It is thus essential that especially in Africa where resources for the delivery of sustainable veterinary services are often limited, partnerships would ensure sustainability after termination of the partnership period.

Secretariats