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Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods


Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods

Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods
Photo credit: Daniella Van Leggelo-Padilla | World Bank

We, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union,

having met at our Twenty Third Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 26-27 June 2014, on the Theme of the African Year of Agriculture and Food Security:

Transforming Africa’s Agriculture for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods through Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development, also marking the tenth Anniversary of the Adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)”.

Recalling our previous Decisions and Declarations on agriculture and food and nutrition security, in particular the pdf 2003 Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa (310 KB) ; the pdf 2004 Sirte Declaration on the Challenges of Implementing Integrated and Sustainable Development in Agriculture and Water in Africa (34 KB) ; the pdf 2009 Sirte Declaration on Investing in Agriculture for Economic Growth and Food Security (126 KB) ; the pdf 2007 Decision on Abuja Special Summit of the AU on Fertilisers (390 KB) ; the pdf 2007 Decision on the Abuja Summit on Food Security in Africa (316 KB) ; among others.

Acknowledging the persistent efforts made in implementation of the CAADP at national and regional levels, and the positive growth performance that our agricultural sector has been registering in recent years.  

Also acknowledging the challenges faced in the implementation of many of those Decisions and Declarations, in particular on progress made in attaining the minimum targets of public investment in agriculture that should demonstrate Africa’s ownership and leadership to the achievement of goals as enshrined in the 2003 Maputo commitments.  

Recognising the dire situations that obtain with regard to Africa’s capacity to generate analyse and manage data and information to facilitate evidence based policy development and tracking of progress of implementation, and hence affirming our commitment to enhance such a capacity.

Noting with Concern that the results of the Cost of Hunger Study in Africa (COHA) conducted by the AUC revealed the degree to which child under-nutrition influences health and educational outcomes; the additional barrier it has on children's ability to achieve their full potential; and the impact it has on national productivity.  

Concerned that a significant proportion of our population still remains vulnerable to the challenges of economic marginalization, hunger and malnutrition, despite the positive achievements registered recently in agriculture and economic growth; and reiterating our resolve to ending hunger and improving nutrition consistent with our pdf 2013 Decision on Renewed Partnership for a Unified Approach to End Hunger in Africa by 2025 under the CAADP Framework (174 KB) .  

Reaffirming our resolve towards ensuring, through deliberate and targeted public support, that all segments of our populations, particularly women, the youth, and other disadvantaged sectors of our societies, must participate and directly benefit from the growth and transformation opportunities to improve their lives and livelihoods.

Reflecting that hunger and malnutrition are major causes of poverty and underdevelopment in Africa by causing poor health, low levels of energy, and mental impairment, all leading to low productivity and low educational attainment all of which can in turn lead to even greater hunger and malnutrition, thereby creating a viscous cycle.  

Noting the progress made towards alignment, harmonisation and coordination of initiatives and activities of stakeholders and partners with our priorities as defined in the National and Regional Agricultural and Food Security Investment Plans that have been developed through the CAADP process, and stressing on the significance of sustaining this momentum.  

Concerned that there is limited progress made in agro-industries and agribusiness development, which hampers value addition and competitiveness of our products in trade both local, regional, and international; and undermines the potential of the sector in transformation and generation of gainful employment opportunities for the growing African youth and women, hence reaffirming our resolve to the achievement of goals as provided in our Decision on pdf 2010 Abuja Declaration on Development of Agribusiness And Agro-Industries In Africa (43 KB) .

Also concerned over the heavy and growing dependence of our production systems and consumption patterns on external factors (weather, global markets, amongst others,) and their associated vulnerabilities to such external factors as climate variability and change as well as to global economic and political shocks.  

Stressing the significance of enhancing conservation and sustainable use of all of our natural resources including land, water, plant, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, and forestry, through coherent policies as well as governance and institutional arrangements at national and regional levels, to realise their huge potential to generate wealth, social benefits and contribute to the development of our economies.  

Recognising the importance of multi-sectoral engagement and co-ownership of this agricultural transformation agenda within our public sectors, including infrastructure, energy, trade, industry, health, science and technology, education, hence the importance of putting in place a coherent inter-sectoral coordination of the efforts and initiatives for optimising resource use, synergy and maximising outcome and impact.

Further recognising the complementary roles and responsibilities that should be enhanced among the relevant stakeholders, including public, private, civil societies, farmers, pastoralists, fishers, in driving this agricultural transformation agenda.  

Welcoming the Resolutions of the African Union Joint Conference of Ministers of Agriculture, Rural Development, Fisheries and Aquaculture, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 01 to 02 May 2014, endorsed by the Executive Council, and in particular their recommendations calling for our Assembly to consider adopting commitments along specific and concrete priorities.

We hereby adopt the following Declaration:

I. Recommitment to the Principles and Values of the CAADP Process  

1. We recommit to the key principles and values that define the CAADP process which include, among others:  

a) the pursuit of agriculture-led growth as a main strategy to achieve targets on food and nutrition security and shared prosperity;  

b) the exploitation of regional complementarities and cooperation to boost growth;

c) the application of principles of evidence-based planning, policy efficiency, dialogue, review, and accountability, shared by all NEPAD programs;  

d) the use of partnerships and alliances including farmers, agribusiness, and civil society; and

e) support implementation at countries levels, and regional coordination and harmonisation.  

II. Commitment to Enhancing Investment Finance in Agriculture

2. We commit to enhance investment finance, both public and private, to agriculture; and to this end we resolve:  

a) to uphold our earlier commitment to allocate at least 10% of public expenditure to agriculture, and to ensure its efficiency and effectiveness;  

b) to create and enhance necessary appropriate policy and institutional conditions and support systems for facilitation of private investment in agriculture, agri-business and agro-industries, by giving priority to local investors;  

c) to fast-track the operationalization of the African Investment Bank, as provided for in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, with a view to mobilizing and disbursing investment finance for priority agriculture related investment projects.

3. We commit to ending hunger in Africa by 2025, and to this end we resolve:

a) to accelerate agricultural growth by at least doubling current agricultural productivity levels, by the year 2025. In doing so, we will create and enhance the necessary appropriate policy and institutional conditions and support systems to facilitate:

    • sustainable and reliable production and access to quality and affordable inputs (for crops, livestock, fisheries, amongst others) through, among other things, provision of ‘smart’ protection to smallholder agriculture;

    • supply of appropriate knowledge, information, and skills to users;

    • efficient and effective water management systems notably through irrigation;

    • suitable, reliable and affordable mechanization and energy supplies, amongst others.

b) to halve the current levels of Post-Harvest Losses, by the year 2025;  

c) to integrate measures for increased agricultural productivity with social protection initiatives focusing on vulnerable social groups through committing targeted budget lines within our national budgets for:  

    • strengthening strategic food and cash reserves to respond to food shortages occasioned by periodic prolonged droughts or other disasters/emergencies;
    • strengthening early warning systems to facilitate advanced and proactive responses to disasters and emergencies with food and nutrition security implications;
    • targeting priority geographic areas and community groups for interventions;
    • encouraging and facilitating increased consumption of locally produced food items, including the promotion of innovative school feeding programs that use food items sourced from the local farming community.

d) to improve nutritional status, and in particular, the elimination of child under- nutrition in Africa with a view to bringing down stunting to 10% and underweight to 5% by 2025.

IV. Commitment to Halving Poverty by the year 2025, through Inclusive Agricultural Growth and Transformation  

4. We resolve to ensure that the agricultural growth and transformation process is inclusive and contributes at least 50% to the overall poverty reduction target; and to this end we will therefore create and enhance the necessary appropriate policy, institutional and budgetary support and conditions:

a) to sustain annual agricultural GDP growth of at least 6%;  

b) to establish and/or strengthen inclusive public-private partnerships for at least five (5) priority agricultural commodity value chains with strong linkage to smallholder agriculture;

c) to create job opportunities for at least 30% of the youth in agricultural value chains;

d) to support and facilitate preferential entry and participation for women and youth in gainful and attractive agri-business opportunities.  

V. Commitment to Boosting Intra- African Trade in Agricultural commodities and services

5. We commit to harness markets and trade opportunities, locally, regionally and internationally, and to this end we resolve:  

a) to triple, by the year 2025, intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services;

b) to create and enhance policies and institutional conditions and support systems:

    • to simplify and formalize the current trade practices;
    • to fast-track the establishment of Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and transition to a continental Common External Tariff (CET) scheme;
    • to increase and facilitate investment in markets and trade infrastructure;
    • to promote and strengthen platforms for multi-actors interactions;
    • to strengthen and streamline the coordination mechanism that will facilitate the promotion African common position on agriculture-related international trade negotiations and partnership agreements.  

VI. Commitment to Enhancing Resilience of Livelihoods and Production Systems to Climate Variability and other related risks  

6. We commit to reduce vulnerabilities of the livelihoods of our population through building resilience of systems; and to this end we resolve:  

a) to ensure that, by the year 2025, at least 30% of our farm, pastoral, and fisher households are resilient to climate and weather related risks;  

b) to enhance investments for resilience building initiatives, including social security for rural workers and other vulnerable social groups, as well as for vulnerable ecosystems;

c) to mainstream resilience and risk management in our policies, strategies and investment plans.

VII. Commitment to Mutual Accountability to Actions and Results  

7. We commit to a systematic regular review process, using the CAADP Results Framework, of the progress made in implementing the provisions of this Declaration; and to this end we resolve:

a) to conduct a biennial Agricultural Review Process that involves tracking, monitoring and reporting on progress;  

b) to foster alignment, harmonization and coordination among multi-sectorial efforts and multi-institutional platforms for peer review, mutual learning and mutual accountability;

c) to strengthen national and regional institutional capacities for knowledge and data generation and management that support evidence based planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

VIII. Strengthening the African Union Commission to support delivery on these commitments

8. We will strengthen the capacity of the African Union Commission to help it fulfil the growing roles and mandates we have been ascribing to it, through this Declaration as well as other relevant previous Declarations and Decisions; and to this end we invite the Chairperson of the Commission to submit a proposal with a view to enhancing the institutional capacity of the lead Department as well as other relevant units, for consideration and approval by the January 2015 Ordinary Session of the Executive Council.

IX. A Call for Action  

9. We commit to an expedient process of translation of these commitments into results; and to this end we call upon:  

a) the AU Commission and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) to develop an implementation strategy and roadmap that facilitates translation of the 2025 vision and goals of Africa Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation into concrete results and impacts, and report to the January 2015 Ordinary Session of the Executive Council for its consideration;  

b) AU Commission to fast-track the operationalization of the African Investment Bank;

c) the AU Commission and RECs to facilitate the acceleration of economic integration to boost intra-Africa trade in food and agriculture;  

d) the AU Commission and NPCA, in collaboration with partners:  

    • to develop mechanisms that enhance Africa’s capacity for knowledge and data generation and management to strengthen evidence based planning and implementation;
    • to institutionalize a system for peer review that encourages good performance on achievement of progress made in implementing the provisions of this Declaration and recognize biennially exemplary performance through awards;
    • to conduct on a biennial basis, beginning from year 2017, Agricultural Review Process, and report on progress to the Assembly at its January 2018 Ordinary Session.  

e) the African stakeholders, including farmers, pastoralists, fishers, private sector operators in agriculture, agribusiness and agro-industries, civil society organisations, and financial institutions, to rally behind the realization of the provisions of this Declaration and take advantage of the huge opportunities that it presents;

f) the African Agricultural Research and Knowledge Institutions to vigorously support the realization of this agenda through an integrated and coherent manner, building on national systems and capacities;  

g) the Development Partners to rally and align their technical and financial support in a harmonized and coordinated manner to support the implementation of the provisions of this Declaration.


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