The African Union Commission's Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) and the AUDA-NEPAD last week organized a workshop for the Training of Trainers on the AU Malabo Declaration Biennial Review process.
The Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods was adopted by African Union Heads of State and Government in June 2014 at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly. It commits leaders to a set of actions that will accelerate agricultural growth and transformation across Africa. The Declaration was a recommitment to the principles and values of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) as well as additional commitments and targets for results and impact.
To ensure mutual accountability and to institutionalize a system for peer review that encourages good performance on achievement of progress made in implementing the provisions of the Declaration, the AUC was tasked to conduct a review on a biennial basis, the progress achieved by its member states in securing their CAADP and Malabo Declaration commitments.
The workshop was attended by officials from RECs, partnering institutions (including IFPRI/ReSAKSS, FAO) and Trainers from respective countries.
Opening the workshop, Mr. Ernest Ruzindaza, CAADP Team Leader, AUC, said the outputs of the training would be critical in the upcoming BR process in 2019 by improving the capacities of the trainers and the existing reporting tools and mechanisms.
During the five days training, the participants undertook a thorough review of the performance indicators captured under the various Performance Themes captured in the Technical Guidelines for reporting. This was vital in bringing the participants on the same wavelength in terms of understanding of the indicators measurement to adequately support the countries. It should be recalled that the Technical Guidelines is the output of an extensive review undertaken by the seven technical working groups tasked with revising the BR indicators in light of the lessons learned from the previous edition and the emerging issues. The participating experts therefore went through the updated metrics, while providing critical inputs to ensure technical soundness, relevance and usability by the countries.
The workshop also provided the participants a first-hand experience with the E-BR, which aims to support the BR process through an online platform to streamline the reporting by the stakeholders going forward. It builds on the existing reporting architecture of the BR including three tiers of reporting including countries, RECs and AUC.
And closing the workshop, Dr Simplice Nouala, AUC's Head of Division for Agriculture and Food Security, commended the partnering institutions for their steadfast commitments to the BR process.
"The BR is now viewed as a technical and advocacy document. This therefore requires credibility to ensure that the data collected and reported is technically sound, and owned by the countries (validated) to be used for advocacy purposes and to transform agriculture as determined in the report, which will be presented at the 2020 AU Summit," he said.
The Biennial Review provides a platform for mutual accountability, and peer review that will motivate increased performance by AU Member States to deliver on targets set by the Malabo Declaration. This is achieved through a well-designed, transparent and performance-based monitoring, evaluating and Biennial Sector reporting to the AU Assembly that will in turn trigger evidence-based planning and implementation for the expected agricultural growth and transformation in Africa.
The Malabo Declaration is also in line with AU's Africa Agenda 2063, a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years, which builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.