Why agriculture is key to Africa's future
An open letter.
Dear development partners,
In September, world leaders committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guide towards achieving global development targets. On this World Food Day, we want to draw your attention to SDG2, which aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030. This goal is foundational to the world’s ability to achieve the new global development agenda defined by the SDGs.
Indeed, SDG2 is in clear resonance with the June 2014 commitment of African Heads of State and Government towards revitalizing agriculture in Africa with the adoption of the Malabo Declaration. The Declaration reiterates the resolve of African leaders to end hunger, improve nutrition, halve poverty through inclusive agricultural growth and transformation and accelerate agricultural growth by at least doubling current agricultural productivity levels by 2025 through committed implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). With these efforts, our continent – which today counts up to 226.7 million hungry or undernourished people – could be the first one to achieve the Zero Hunger Goal.
We, the CAADP Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC) – the voice of non-state actors in Africa, including farmers and producers’ organizations, smallholder farmers, civil society organizations and the private sector – see our continent on the verge of an economic transformation. The CNC members all share the vision of a prosperous Africa where progress is shared among citizens through agricultural growth and wealth creation, and are thus committed to continue the hard work towards achieving the Zero Hunger Goal through sustained implementation of CAADP II. However, as we push forward with that resolve and commitment, we are increasingly aware that for our efforts and that of our leaders towards meeting our continental objectives by 2025 to succeed, they must be complemented through strong and genuine partnerships with the international community, responsible investors and development partners.
If you believe – as we do and as our leaders do – that achieving SDG2 in Africa by 2025 is worth the hard work, we ask you to support our leaders and us, the CNC, within the CAADP framework, to transform African agriculture. We ask for quantity, quality, and climate-resilient investments supporting mostly women smallholder producers, who represent 63% of the economically active women in sub-Saharan Africa.
We strongly believe that a transparent and mutually accountable collaboration between development partners and African governments and non-state actors, including smallholder farmers, will allow our continent not only to achieve food and nutrition security by 2025 – 5 years before the SDGs objective – but also to achieve food and nutrition sovereignty on the continent.
• AfDB CSO coalition
• Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC)
• Afro Ethiopia Integrated Development (AEID)
• Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF)
• Eastern & Southern Africa Farmers Forum (ESAFF)
• The Hunger Project Ethiopia, as a member organization of the Food Security and Environment Forum under the Consortium of Christian Relief & Development Associations (CCRDA)
• Plateforme de la société civile du Benin (PSCiB)
• Society for Empowerment and Self Reliance (SESER)