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May 16th, 2018 / The Conversation

It’s been four years since African leaders met in Equatorial Guinea to commit themselves to boosting agricultural growth across the continent. This is an important way to create real change in Africa. During the gathering, all the African Union’s heads of state signed the Malabo Declaration. It offered a blueprint for Africa’s agricultural sectors, to be achieved by 2025.

For example, the declaration called for at least 10% of any nation’s public expenditure to be allocated to agriculture and rural development. It also set out plans for increasing countries’ food security by intensifying agriculture in a way that didn’t destroy the environment.

There has been some progress in attaining these goals, as a recent status report conducted by the African Union Commission shows. But there’s still a great deal of work to be done.

The report shows that in 2015 and 2016 only ten of the 47 signatory states reached or exceeded the target of 10% investment in public expenditure in agriculture and rural development. These are Malawi, Ethiopia, Angola, Egypt, Sudan, Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea. Some other countries had invested as little as 0.6% of public expenditure in these crucial sectors. Only 20 of the 47 signatories are on track to meet the declaration’s goals by 2025. Read more