Achieving the SDGs in Africa

May 12, 2015 – The Hunger Project and the Nelson Mandela Foundation held a high-level dialogue on achieving the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa by 2030 in Johannesburg, South Africa tomorrow, May 12.

a (181)“Africa has taken the lead in developing continent-wide strategies for ending hunger and poverty within the framework of the SDGs,” said The Hunger Project’s Vice President for Africa Programs Dr. Idrissa Dicko. “The African Union has already set an ambitious target to end hunger by 2025, adopted an Implementation Strategy and Roadmap for 2025, and created a Common Africa Position on the Post-2015 Agenda. We want to use this opportunity for important stakeholders to each identify our highest leverage contributions toward these initiatives.”

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Welcome remarks by Hunger Project board chair Steven Sherwood and acting CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Verne Harris.

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Introductory remarks by Hunger Project President and Åsa Skogström Feldt highlighted our gender-focused approach to community-led development, and called for large-scale alliances to achieve the SDGs.

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Introductory video message from Tom Arnold, acting coordinator of the SUN: Scaling Up Nutrition Movement.

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Keynote address by NEPAD’s CEO Dr. Mayaki delivered by Principle Programme Officer Mariam Sow Soumare.

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Remarks by Athini Nyatela, community organizer of Restless Development, a youth-led organization.

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Remarks by Sara Longwe, Consultant and Former Chair, Femnet.

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Remarks by Nokuthula Mhene, Food Justice Expert, Oxfam-South Africa

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Remarks by Henry Malumo, Advocacy Head, ActionAid-South Africa

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Remarks by Jabu Ntsele, Corporate Social Investment Manager, Tiger Brands

Note – we regret that the video company was unable to record all the discussions.

Participants from across sectors — multilateral organizations, regional bodies, government, corporates, donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society and academia — reviewed the current framework for the SDGs and identified specific gaps where new initiatives can be taken.

The Hunger Project implements a gender-focused, community-led holistic development approach called the Epicenter Strategy in eight countries in Africa, reaching nearly two million people. “This dialogue will provide us with valuable strategic insights so we can adjust our program priorities in Africa and around the world for the coming years,” noted Dr. Idrissa Dicko.

The Hunger Project awarded Nelson Mandela its Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger in 1994, at a ceremony with Former US President Bill Clinton in Washington, DC, and is thrilled to be partnering with the Nelson Mandela Foundation for this meeting. Nelson Mandela Foundation Director of Research and Archive Verne Harris shared, “This is an excellent demonstration of honoring the legacy of Nelson Mandela, through convening dialogues for engagement around critical issues to promote social justice.”

Participants included: Steven J. Sherwood, The Hunger Project Global Board Chair; Åsa Skogström Feldt, The Hunger Project President & CEO; Verne Harris, Nelson Mandela Foundation Director of Research and Archive; and representatives from NEPAD, SADC, the UN, FAO, WFP, USAID, UN Women, Oxfam, ActionAid, World Vision, Tiger Brands and more.

Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP) of Uganda and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)

Uganda tourism destinations

As a landlocked country in sub-Saharan Africa and with a population of 36.35 million (2012), Uganda will face a daunting task in reducing poverty and ensuring sustainable development in the coming years. Despite the challenges, over the past decade, the country has managed to reduce national poverty levels from 33.8% in 2000 to 24.5% in 2009, increased life expectancy at birth from 48 in 2000 to 58 years in 2011, and the gross national income (GNI) per-capita increased from $260 in 2000 to $440 in 2012. (World Bank, 2014). Like that of most African countries in the region, agriculture has been the backbone of Uganda’s economy. Agriculture accounts for 73% of total employment, and the proportion of women employed in agriculture is 83% while that of men’s is 71% in 2005. (MAAIF*, 2010).  Thus development of the agriculture sector in Uganda means, development of the economy,improvement in food supply, increased house hold income and above all improvement of the life of the majority of the people including women and children.  Among the major agricultural outputs in Uganda are maize (main staple food), coffee main export commodity), fish, diary cattle’s, beans, tea, poultry, bananas and cassava. The country still imports wheat, palm oil, refined sugar and other which could have been produced at home.(MAAIF, 2010). Future development plannings and investments should target these products which serve as a source of nutrition and export earnings.

*MAAIF, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries

To download a PDF version of the 2010/11-2014/15 DSIP of Uganda, click here: http://www.agriculture.go.ug/index-page-publications-id-313.htm

In order to eradicate poverty, increase export earnings, maintain food security, improve nutrition and increase income, investment in sustainable agriculture and rural development is crucial.  In 2003, the African Union formed a Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) deligating New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as its implementing agency. CAADP members including Uganda signed compacts and designed investment plans. Member countries pledged to increase public investment in agriculture by 10% per year and raise agricultural productivity by 6% per year. Similarly, in 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) of Uganda designed development strategy and investment plan (DSIP) in alignment with its National Development Plan (NDP) and CAADP goals. As a revision of 2005/06 -2007/08, the 2010/11 – 2014/15 DSIP sorts the governments’ plan and strategy to reinvigorate the agriculture sector which contributes to 20% of the gross domestic product (GDP), 48% of export and most of the employment. (MAAIF, 2010).  According to a data from MAAIF, real growth in agricultural output decreased from 7.9% in 2000/01 to 2.3% in the years 2008/09 which was alarming considering the population growth and increasing food price. (MAAIF, 2010).

For more about CAADP,  here: http://www.nepad-caadp.net/about-caadp.php

Imports of major agricultural commodities (2007)

Quantity (tonnes)

Value (current US$)

Wheat

        337,026

            117,400,000

Palm Oil

        143,703

            100,935,000

Sugar, refined

        88,410

         39.042.000

Exports of major agricultural commodities (2010)

Quantity (tonnes)

Value (current US$)

coffee, green

        153,987

        226,966,000

Cotton lint

        25.055

        65,973,000

Sugar Raw Centrifugal

           44,015

        47,629,000

Source: FAO

In order to meet the demand for food, poverty and increase income from agriculture, it is imperative that the government work in cooperation with the private sector, international organizations, development agencies and civil societies. Among others, the government of Uganda on its next post 2014/15 DSIP, should focus on investments that centered around small scale farmers to increase production, income, export and ensure food security. A 2008 research by IFPRI demonstrated that “if agriculture in Uganda grew at 6% per year, the national poverty headcount level would fall from 31.1% in 2005 to 17.9% by 2015.” (MAAIF, 2010). Emphasis should be given to agricultural commodities  with export potential and those nutritious to increase caloric intake which is very low as compared to World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.The caloric intake per person in Uganda was 1,971 in 2005 which is less than the 2,300 recommended by WHO.(MAAIF, 2010).  It is also important that the government work with private investors to increase domestic supply of staple foods and avoid falling for corporations rushing to seize land for production of bio-fuels while 17.7 million (2007) people are food insecure. (MAAIF, 2010). Promoting climate resilient small scale agriculture, investing in transportation and agricultural infrastructures, promoting sustainable natural resource management, investing in agricultural research and technology, and collaborating with international donors help boost individual income, export earning, production output, food supply and also help eradicate poverty. The government of Uganda should also improve its bad image and record on human rights protection, political freedom, corruption and bureaucracy. Encouraging civil society organizations (CSOs) and development organizations that work at the grassroots level, and creating an accountable and transparent government system from top to village level will help achieve the DSIP and CAADP goals.

References:

NEPAD-CAADP. (2010). Agriculture for food and income security: Agriculture Sector Development Strategy and Investment Plan 2010/11 – 2014/15. Retrieved on January 29, 2014 from http://www.caadp.net/library-country-status-updates.php

World Bank. (2013). Data: Uganda. Retrieved on January 29, 2014 from http://data.worldbank.org/country/uganda

Joan Akello. (2013). The Independent. IMF: aid cuts good opportunity for Uganda. Retrieved on January 29, 2014 from http://www.independent.co.ug/ugandatalks/2013/06/imf-aid-cuts-good-opportunity-for-uganda/