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Grow Africa tackles private sector investment with Permanent Secretaries

Grow Africa tackles private sector investment with Permanent Secretaries

The Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods consists of seven key commitments, one of which addresses the issue of enhancing investment finance in agriculture. 

It was against this backdrop that Grow Africa, together with the NEPAD Agency’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) team, participated in the third CAADP leadership retreat of Permanent Secretaries / Director-Generals, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 19-21 September 2018. The team delivered a joint presentation on the theme of mobilising private sector investments into Africa’s agricultural transformation. 

The retreat serves as a peer exchange and learning platform of African Union Member States in implementing the CAADP agenda. The retreat was attended by Permanent Secretaries and Directors-Generals of AU Member States responsible for CAADP implementation. Also present were representatives from the Regional Economic Communities, the African Union Commission, NEPAD Agency, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

The Country Agribusiness Partnership Framework (CAP-F) – a CAADP country engagement and partnership tool developed to support the formation of agribusiness partnerships with the intent of unlocking private sector investment – was shared with stakeholders. The CAP framework was well received and generated rich discussions on private sector involvement in the agriculture sector in Africa. 

Given that CAP-F is a tool aimed at assisting governments to better coordinate their actions to create a conducive environment for incoming private sector investment, the retreat provided an optimal platform to harness Member State views on CAP-F in particular, which will serve to strengthen the work of Grow Africa in implementing the Framework going forward. 

The Permanent Secretaries and Director-Generals showed a keen interest on the theme of private sector investment in African agriculture and emphasised several issues that have direct relevance to the work of Grow Africa. 

The issues included the continuous and rigorous engagement of the international private sector; the inclusion of smallholder farmers in the establishment of multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that they too are able to benefit from the development and strengthening of priority value chains. The value-addition of CAP-F in enhancing CAADP Mutual Accountability in terms of incorporating agribusiness data into the CAADP Biennial Review Report was welcomed.