Posted by: africanpressorganization | 4 February 2010

AUC focused on agricultural production, climate change




AUC focused on agricultural production, climate change



ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 4, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Mrs. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union, addressed journalists on Saturday 30 January 2010 at a press conference that took place in the Media Center of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The press conference was held within the framework of the 14th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit. Commissioner Tumusiime addressed the media on issues such as the   outcome of the COP15 conference and climate change on the continent. She also updated the media on food security in Africa since the 13th AU Summit in July 2009 in Sirte, Libya. FAO and WFP representatives were also part of the press conference.

Commissioner Tumussiime said climate change and food security were at the centre of the work of the African Union Commission, because they are of concern to Africa, especially as the continent seeks to reduce poverty in its efforts to attain the MDGs. The Commissioner noted progress in getting Africa out of hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity. She added that high food prices in Africa sounded as a wake-up call to mobilize the international community to focus on Africa through the comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).

Within CAADP`s framework, Heads of State of the African Union  agreed on a number of principles, like a minimum on 6% growth in agriculture, and  increasing investment in agriculture by allocating at least 10% of national budget to agriculture.

Mrs. Tumusiime said there is significant mobilization for CAADP since its adoption in 2003 in Maputo. 13 countries have signed compacts in the last 6 months, and the AUC is working hard on post compact actions focusing on streamlining and perfecting the agricultural sector plan. According to Commissioner Tumusiime, there is also progress in efforts to make Member States come up with commitments, agreements and partnerships along common principles, policies, and targets reached between governments and the private sector, civil society etc…

Emphasis is being put on African agriculture to increase production and productivity but also ensuring value addition in order to create farm employment. There is also a focus on marketing infrastructure to increase trade between member States and beyond.

Speaking on global climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, Mrs Tumusiime said Africa was thoroughly prepared at the technical and Ministerial levels to facilitate consultations with other global entities. Mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer, finance, and capacity building were therefore at the center of negotiations. Hence the Copenhagen accord as the outcome of CoP15 provided a stepping stone for the demands of Africa towards CoP16 in Mexico at the end of this year.

Commissioner Tumussiime concluded by stating the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility”, whereby developed countries should provide for the needs of Africa`s mitigation and adaptation to climate change and variability. The African Union remains engaged in global climate change negotiations, and implementing climate and environment related policies, programmes, and projects on the continent.



African Union Commission (AUC)


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