// Accelerate implementation for results and impact
This was the overall theme of the 8th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program Partnership Platform meeting in Nairobi. Participants welcomed the idea that after process and meetings, there needed to be concrete implementation on the ground and at a faster pace than what had been seen so far.
// Sustaining CAADP momentum is critical
The majority of statements and key note remarks highlighted the importance of sustaining the CAADP momentum within the context of the bigger transformation agenda and emphasised the need for improving the policy, regulatory and legislative environment as countries and RECs move from planning to implementation. As such, AUC and NPCA were applauded for leading the process of defining the long-term vision, focus areas, and priorities of CAADP, and therefore encouraged to disseminate the outcomes of the long-term vision document for a wider buy-in.
// Regional economic communities remain at the heart of the CAADP agenda
Statements affirmed the role of RECs as building blocks for Africa's regional integration and stressed increased collaboration among RECs to enable CAADP contribute to the regional integration agenda. The statements further underlined the critical importance of tracking and evaluating progress with a view to informing speedier implementation of CAADP and achieve broad-based agricultural development and contribute towards enhanced food and nutrition security.
// Better stakeholder representation in target groups is required
It clearly emerged that it was about time that a better representation of stakeholders in targets groups by the CAADP and affiliated programme was secured. In the course of the discussion, participants unanimously appreciated that space was given to national, regional and continental farmer's organisations and platforms as key actors and investors in African agriculture. Probably, the emphasis on the importance of focusing on smallholder family-based farming operations has never been so well articulated in a PP meeting – with several statements underpinning the need to focus on youth, women and marginalised groups so that they all benefited from the progressively increasing attention being given to the development of African agriculture through CAADP.
// CAADP now recognised as brand name
Because of its agreed strategic engagement on agriculture and food security, CAADP is reported to have reassured continued donor support as well as highlighted the importance of ensuring quality of investment plans; and called for a strong and coherent system to achieve effective partnerships.
// CAADP Multi-Donor Trust Fund vital
In spite of the modest size of donor contributions to the fund so far, the meeting acknowledged the important role that the CAADP Multi-Donor Trust Fund and their bilateral and multilateral sources of funding played with respect to enabling African institutions to deliver on their respective CAADP mandates. There was a consistent call for expanding CAADP process financing in line with the greater effort expected of CAADP to address emerging issues and themes.
// Funding implementation of CAADP investment plans to be "business unusual"
While on the one hand participants called for increased international financial support to the implementation of CAADP-aligned agriculture and food security investment plans, on the other hand a particular emphasis was repeatedly put on the need for AU member states with CAADP-based investment plans to meet their own funding commitments, and urged the importance of broadening agricultural development financing. As such, the virtues of strengthening public-private partnerships in the financing of country investment plans were streessed as well as the promising start that the Grow Africa Initiative had made in brokering private investment to Africa's agricultural sector thus far.
// Challenges and opportunities ahead as CAADP aims to accelerate implementation
More than before in the almost 10 years of CAADP discourse, specific attention was given to the challenges facing African agriculture as these related to the drought situation especially in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel Region as well as the various factors accentuating instability in these regions.
// Emerging issues and trends of concern to African agriculture
Emphasis was put on a range of emerging issues that are of direct relevance to Africa's pursuit of a food- and nutrition-secure continent. As such, particular attention was paid to large scale land and water acquisition and the attendant measures that needed to be allocated to help Africa realise its food security and social and environmental sustainability objectives; respond to the increased demand for non-food uses of agricultural products; and deal with the climate change challenge and the imperatives of instituting climate-resilient agriculture.