September 29, 2015
The African Union Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC/DREA) recently signed a letter of agreement with Africa Lead, a top program of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative.
The Letter of Agreement between the two organizations commits to the selection and seconding of professional staff to AUC/DREA for up to three years to assist in facilitating the continental commitment to transform agriculture. The 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods was signed by leaders of the 54 African Union member states last July. The Malabo Declaration includes country commitments to ending hunger; decreasing poverty through inclusive agriculture growth and transformation; boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services; enhancing resilience to climate variability and other shocks; and a commitment to mutual accountability for actions and results.
(The letter was signed by Dr. Janet Edeme, left, Officer-in-Charge of the African Union Commission/Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, and Dr. David Tardif-Douglin, right, Chief of Party for the USAID Africa Lead program, on September 9 in Bethesda, Maryland.)
Three of the seconded staff will support the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Initiative. The Alliance is a partnership that brings together the capacities and interests of a diverse group of stakeholders. These include African governments, the private sector, civil society, donors, and other development partners. They are allied to facilitate inclusive growth in agriculture and address key constraints to private investment and increased smallholder productivity and market access.
Work to be performed under the agreement will focus on advancing the implementation of the New Alliance Initiative in the context of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) at national, Regional Economic Communities and continental levels. This support includes overseeing coordination with different stakeholder groups on the New Alliance in the current 10 member countries—Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Senegal. The New Alliance team will also oversee the drafting and review of major global New Alliance reports.
AUC/DREA is a department within the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and is charged with the promotion of sustainable agricultural and rural development across the continent and improved food security for Africans. Africa Lead II is a five-year program of the U.S. Agency for International Development to support and advance agricultural transformation in Africa. Simultaneously, Africa Lead II contributes to the U.S. Feed the Future goals of reduced hunger and poverty by building the capacity of Champions—defined as men and women leaders in agriculture—to develop, lead, and manage the policies, structures, and processes needed for the transformation process.
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