October 06, 2015
Ministers, senior government officials and development partners have convened at the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the Inaugural Conference of the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment in a bid to concert action for improved livelihoods in Africa.
The five-day conference co-organized by the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission and NEPAD Coordinating and Planning Agency is cognizant with the new role of the STC. This is after the AU organs considered the need to streamline and adopt the configuration of STCs as Organs of the Union in January 2009, and modalities for their operationalization in July 2011.
Addressing participants at the conference, the commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the AU, Her Excellency Tumusiime Rhoda Peace urged the STC to meet at least every two years in order to discharge responsibilities vested upon the STC’s by the AU Assembly.
You are, therefore, here to review relevant strategic goals, facilitate mutual accountability and identify synergies, linkages and complementarities in on-going agriculture, rural development, water and environment related initiatives, and their implications on the achievement of the overarching goals set out in Malabo on CAADP, the 10-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063 and in line with the Common African Position on SDGs, among others,” she said.
As a measure for the delivery of key goals on the Malabo declaration, the STC will also be required to review emerging guidelines and terms of reference on how to ensure a mutual accountability plan at their respective country Joint Sector Reviews (JSRs), and the continent-wide Biennial review.
Speaking to journalists during a recess session, head of CADDP Augustin Wambo Yamdjeu was quick to note that even if a majority of the governments implement the 10% of their budget towards agriculture, the goals of CADDP will not be fully achieved.
“Governments need to bring on board the private sector, who are the biggest financiers to the agriculture sector. They need to use the 10% budget allocation to create public goods, conducive environment, capacity building and create a space for the external and domestic private sector to come in and drive agriculture forward.”