November 12, 2013, Dakar, Senegal—It has been 10 years since African heads of state and government pledged to allocate 10 percent of their national budgets to the agricultural sector as part of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The commitment, also known as the Maputo Declaration Target, rallied African governments to increase spending in the sector to stimulate agricultural growth, reduce poverty, and build food and nutrition security.
On November 12-13, about 150 African policymakers, donors, researchers, civil society organizations, farmers’ organizations, private sector, and other key stakeholders will gather in Dakar, Senegal to discuss countries’ performance in meeting the 10 percent target, as well as implementation of agriculture joint sector reviews (JSRs), and country-level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS) platforms.
The conference, “Achieving the Maputo Declaration Target and Prioritizing Public Agricultural Expenditures,” is organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC) and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA). It is the 2013 Annual Conference of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS).
The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) Cooperation Framework for Senegal will be presented at a joint session co-organized by ReSAKSS and the NAFSN at the first day of the conference. The Prime Minister of Senegal and its G8 partners will address their commitments to promoting growth and food and nutrition security through increased agricultural investments.
Gauging Trends and Outlooks in Agricultural Development
The 2012 ReSAKSS Annual Trends and Outlook Report—to be launched at the conference—looks at agricultural and rural development at the country, regional, and continental levels and serves as the official CAADP monitoring and evaluation report. According to this year’s report:
- Agricultural sector spending increased, on average, by more than 7 percent annually between 2003 and 2010.
- The rapid increase in agricultural sector expenditures was not sufficient however to allow Africa as a whole to achieve the Maputo target. The reason is that overall government expenditures rose much faster, reaching double digit rates of annual growth.
- A total of 13 countries — Burundi, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—have met or surpassed the 10 percent target in one or more years since 2003.
Holding Each Other Accountable
ReSAKSS, in collaboration with various country stakeholders—AUC, NPCA, and development partners—is leading the charge to support implementation of JSRs at the country level. The JSR is a mutual accountability process by which the government, private sector, donors, and other players regularly review a country’s agricultural sector performance and results and assess whether each player is on the track to achieve the targets and meet their commitments in the CAADP compacts, national agriculture investment plans, and other agreements such as the New Alliance.
“The primary purpose of a JSR is for agriculture stakeholders to collectively track policy and program implementation performance and progress and hold each other accountable to the commitments they made,” said Ousmane Badiane, IFPRI’s Director for Africa. “It enables behavioral change among stakeholders towards a common goal of successful implementation of Africa’s agricultural and rural development agenda.”
The conference is expected to promote a better understanding of JSRs among stakeholders by clarifying what are the building blocks of a JSR, who should participate in the JSR progress, how to establish and operate a regular and effective JSR, and what are the key operating principles. Participants will also develop a plan to establish and routinely conduct JSRs as a core element of the CAADP agenda.
‘Sharing Experiences and Lessons Learned’
Sharing lessons learned on the establishment and operation of country-level SAKSS platforms will also be part of the conference. Country-level SAKSS play a key role in supporting mutual accountability and implementation of JSRs at the country level. Participants will identify country progress, challenges, and necessary actions in M&E, policy analysis, and knowledge management.
“Evidence- and outcome-based planning and implementation of agricultural sector policies and strategies is crucial for Africa,” said Godfrey Bahiigwa, ReSAKSS - Africawide Coordinator and Head of IFPRI’s Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office. “ReSAKSS plays an important role in mobilizing local expertise and building capacities in African countries to support their policy planning and implementation.”
Established in 2006, the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) supports evidence and outcome-based planning and implementation of agricultural-sector policies and strategies in Africa. In particular, ReSAKSS offers high-quality analyses and knowledge products to improve policymaking, track progress, and facilitate policy dialogue, benchmarking, review and mutual learning processes of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) implementation agenda. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) facilitates the overall work of ReSAKSS working in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), and leading regional economic communities (RECs). At the regional level, ReSAKSS is supported by Africa-based CGIAR centers: the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Kenya, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in South Africa, and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria. www.resakss.org.
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. IFPRI was established in 1975 to identify and analyze alternative national and international strategies and policies for meeting the food needs of the developing world, with particular emphasis on low-income countries and on the poorer groups in those countries. It is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. www.ifpri.org.