Out-going AU Chair commends African leaders for contributing to agriculture

BY BANTHU TIMES REPORTER 31/01/2014
The Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Hailemariam Dessalegn has commended some of the African leaders for allocating 10 percent of the national budget to the agricultural sector.Vice President Khumbo Kachali meets UNHCR permanent Representative to the AU and Economic Commission for Africa Chrysantus Ache at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa-pic by Lisa Vintulla

Dessalegn made the remarks Thursday when he officially opened the 22nd Session of the African Union in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
The Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, Khumbo Kachali attended the function amongst other Heads of State and Government
The AU’s Chairperson said “the transformation of agriculture holds the key to the success of our collective efforts to realize our vision as African Union.”

He said this year’ AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, which is being celebrated under the theme; “Agriculture and Food Security,” marks the 10th anniversary of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

CAADP in one of the most important projects of the AU aimed at achieving agricultural transformation in Africa.

Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma added that Africa has transformed in many sectors more especially in agriculture.
Malawi Vice President Khumbo Kachali posed for a photo with EU Commissioner for Development Andris Pieba in Addis Ababa-pic by Lisa Vintulla
Zuma said, “Africa has indeed transformed herself from an exporter of raw materials with a declining manufacturing sector in 2013 to become a major food exporter, a global manufacturing hub, a knowledge centre, benefiting our natural resources and agricultural products as drivers to industrialization.”
The United Nations Undersecretary General, Jan Eliasson also commended African leaders efforts in attaining food security through their detailed programme of CAADP.
Eliasson added that he is gratified with the AU’s commitment in making sure that Africa is food secure, hence maintaining good nutrition for the region.
He further explained that, “While we are celebrating agriculture and food security in Africa, I would like to attribute it to the government’s inclusion of gender equality within the food security policy. The promotion of gender equality and women empowerment is the means for Africa to attain its potential in agriculture.”

‘’Malawi is taking a leading role in making sure that the country has a 10 percent allocation of its budget to agriculture,’’ said an official from Malawi.

The source also added that if all member states of the AU would set aside 10 percent for agriculture then there will be a growth in the countries’ economies of over 6 percent.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti, Laurent Salvador Lamothe took an advantage to thank all African leaders in assisting his country with material and financial support in time of devastating earthquake.

The African Union has 54 sovereign nation states that have acceded as member states to the African Union (AU), or its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), since the OAU was established on 25 May 1963. South Sudan is the newest member state, joining on 27 July 2011. Madagascar has been incorporated back to the Union.