Rwanda has emerged the best-performing country overall in implementing a continental policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all.
A report by the African Union Commission (AUC) presented at the AU Summit in Addis Ababa on Monday indicated that Rwanda's performance - in implementing the 2014 Malabo Declaration of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) - improved from 6.1 in 2017 to 7.2 in 2019 against this year's benchmark of 6.6 out of 10 marks.
For that, the country was given the 2020 Best Performance Award for implementing the June 2014 Malabo Declaration for Agriculture Transformation in Africa.
Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, said that implementing CAADP is well in line with Rwanda's development agenda.
She added: "We welcome Rwanda's performance as a testimony to the government's efforts in honouring the continental commitments and improving the lives of Rwandans through implementing comprehensive agriculture development policies and programmes."
The CAADP focuses on improving food and nutrition security, and increasing incomes in Africa's largely farming-based economies. It aims to achieve this by raising agricultural productivity and increasing public investment in agriculture.
The 2014 Malabo Declaration is a re-commitment to the CAADP principles adopted by African leaders to provide effective leadership for the attainment of specific goals by the year 2025.
The goals include ending hunger, tripling intra-African trade in agricultural goods and services, enhancing resilience of livelihoods and production systems, and ensuring that agriculture contributes significantly to poverty reduction.
Second time in a row
During the first biennial review of the CAADP programme, in 2017, Rwanda was also the best-performing country.
At the time, Rwanda got the highest score on Agricultural Transformation in Africa, and emerged 2017 best performing country in implementing the seven commitments of the continental agriculture plan.
AU Member States' performance is presented in the form of a "Country Scorecard in implementing the Malabo Commitments" by 2025 for improved livelihoods and shared prosperity for African citizens.
Rwanda's continental recognition for the second time in a row comes more than a year since the country launched its fourth Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation (PSTA 4) aiming at moving the agriculture sector from subsistence to a market-led sector contributing to exports and job creation.
Launched in mid-2018, PSTA4 – Rwanda’s strategic plan for the agricultural sector covering the period 2018-2024 – is aligned with the national, continental, and international agricultural development agenda, including CAADP.
The strategy has four priority areas; innovation and extension, productivity and resilience, inclusive markets and value addition as well as enabling environment and responsive institutions.