West Africa: Action Aid Challenges Ecowas Member States On Malabo Declaration

3 December 2019

The Action Aid Nigeria has called on ECOWAS member states to muster the political will in the implementation of Malabo Declaration in order to end hunger, and poverty in the ECOWAS region.

The Project Manager for Agriculture, ActionAid Nigeria, Constance Okeke, made the call on Tuesday at the 2nd ECOWAS People's Agriculture Budget Summit held in Abuja.

She emphasized the need to improve the state of Public Financing of Agriculture in the ECOWAS region to fight hunger, unemployment and poverty.

Okeke underscored the urgent need to improve on the political will on the part of ECOWAS member states in terms of complying with the Malabo Declaration with the ultimate goal of ending hunger in the sub region.

According to her, there is no mechanism set aside to implement the Ten percent Malabo Budget commitment.

Her words: "There is need to show more commitment in terms of improving Agriculture in the ECOWAS region. The potential is quite huge, it will eradicate poverty and

In his presentation, Dr. Ernest Aubee of ECOWAS Commission called for legislation to guarantee commitment in the implementation of the Malabo declaration, as the overall effect will aid in the attainment of the Sustainable Development goals in the ECOWAS region.

He appealed for more investment in the Agriculture sector, so as to enable the West African States to meet the Sustainable Development goal. Aubee recommended that the Parliamentarians should advocate to their member states government to increase public financing of Agriculture, and meet the 10 percent Malabo Declaration.

Aubee who scored ECOWAS member state average in terms of implementing the Malabo Declaration charged the parliamentarians to ensure that the right investment are made to support small holder farmers especially women and youth in Agriculture.

"It is about time to put in place enough machineries to employ Agriculture extension workers, and ensure that the state of Agriculture is improved in the ECOWAS Region."

On his part, the Program Officer, Action Aid Nigeria, Azubike Nwokoye, underscored the need to improve on the Agriculture sector, so as to increase food security. In terms of investment in Agriculture, he said women farmers have not really been benefitting.

He therefore charged the CSOs and Farmer organization to give the needed support to the parliamentarians, while urging the leaders to extend the same olive hand.

"We are asking for the political will and support from the member states, so as to move the member states forward. The votes usually comes from the rural areas during elections, as such they need to be given the necessary support in order to make them improve in their Agricultural role," he added.

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