KIGALI—Nearly 300 agricultural experts, policymakers, donors and representatives from the African Union (AU), the East African Community (EAC) and other international organizations will convene in Kigali from the 7th to 8th of December for a high-level stakeholders meeting on investments into Rwanda’s agricultural sector.
The meeting that will be facilitated through NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) will also attract experts from, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The president is expected to open the meeting.
“With the support of the AU, NEPAD, COMESA, and the international community, Rwanda is confident that it can achieve its agricultural development goals, and ultimately alleviate poverty and achieve food security for the country’s poor,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, the Minister of Agriculture.
A statement from NEPAD said that the aim of CAADP, which is spearheaded by the AU-NEPAD and African governments, is to accelerate agricultural growth and thereby eliminate poverty, which has been steadily increasing throughout the continent over the past two decades.
CAADP’s agenda reflects a fundamental shift in the way Africa’s leadership looks at agriculture and its potential contribution to ending poverty and hunger.
The program is the centerpiece of efforts by African countries to achieve growth and poverty reduction in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“This post-CAADP Compact engagement on Rwanda and its agricultural sector is extremely important especially in terms of making sure that Rwanda stays on course with regard to achieving the MDG of cutting poverty in half,” said Prof. Richard Mkandawire the Adviser for Agriculture and Head of CAADP at the NEPAD Secretariat.
“Agriculture accounts for over a third of Africa’s gross domestic product and almost 60 percent of its export income. We especially need to improve the role of smallholder African farmers in the region’s economies if we are to alleviate poverty and hunger on the continent.”
Rwanda was the first country in Africa to sign the CAADP Compact in March 2007. The purpose of this post-CAADP Compact meeting is to review the achievements registered so far by Rwanda in terms of accelerating the CAADP agenda at the national level.
During this meeting stakeholders will also analyse and share lessons learned from some of the challenges faced by Rwanda and other African countries in pursuing the CAADP agenda and identify opportunities for investment financing from donors, multilateral organizations, the private sector, civil society organizations, farmers and regional economic communities towards Rwanda’s agricultural priorities.
NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program is based on two major principles: the pursuit of a 6 percent average annual growth rate at the national level in the agricultural sector, and the allocation of 10 percent of national budgets to agriculture.