3rd African Union – European Union Agriculture Ministerial Conference

  • 21st June 2019
  • by secretary

21 June 2019. Rome. The 3rd African Union – European Union Agriculture Ministerial Conference: Promoting sustainable regional agricultural value chains

Building on the results of the successful previous conference in 2017, around 450 invited high-level representatives and stakeholders from Africa and Europe debated on how to further unlock the potential for a positive rural transformation and an inclusive and sustainable agriculture and agri-food sector in Africa.

  • AU Commissioner for Agriculture and rural economy, Ms Josefa Sacko 
  • EU Commissioner for Agriculture and rural development, Mr Phil Hogan 
  • the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt Professor Dr. Ezz el-Din Abu-Steit“We are not only trading partners, we are neighbours and partners. Our cooperation in foodsafety is extremely important for the benefit of all the citizens.”
  • Australia Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie 
  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Executive Director Bernhard Url

More info: programme.

The the action agenda, endorsed by all Member States includes concrete actions involving cooperation between the two continents in different areas, such as:

  1. Farmers’ organisations: launch of a multiannual cooperation programme with African continental, regional and national farmer organisations. The programme will focus on farmers’ integration into value chains while strengthening capacities of farmer organisations to influence policies and business environments. It will also contribute to the strengthening of farmer organisations themselves through better governance, accountability and service delivery.
  2. Food safety: The aim is to strengthen food safety governance in Africa and establishing adequate governance structures. This is being implemented mainly through discussions on the support to the implementation and operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures.
  3. Research and innovation: Three new contracts were signed to boost research and innovation under the Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA) Initiative:
  • A support programme for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) ex-pillar IV African research organisations (FARA, AFAAS, ASARECA, CCARDESA and CORAF), to be signed with IFAD, aimed at transforming agriculture and food systems and influencing policy-making (€30 million EU contribution).
  • Support for the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP), to be signed with the FAO, to implement the TAP Action Plan (€5 million EU contribution).
  • The One Planet Summit Fellowship Programme, to be signed with Agropolis Foundation (other partners: the Bill and Melinda Gates and BNP Paribas foundations), for African and European scientists working on the challenges of adapting African agriculture to climate change (€3 million EU contribution).
  1. Geographical Indications (GI): The EU to provide support, through the Pan-African programme, to the implementation of the AU Geographical Indication Continental strategy as an instrument for rural development especially for small farm holders. It will more specifically launch an Africa GI training programme and an Africa GI web platform, i.e. a database collecting all African GIs; and will provide support to concrete GI pilot projects.

Side-event: Follow up on the Task Force Rural Africa report

During the conference, Francesco Rampa, as a member of the TFRA, will facilitate a side event on the Task Force Rural Africa report, a high-level panel focused
on how to use climate finance to help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change.

In May 2018 the Task force rural Africa (TFRA) was created to advise the European Commission on how best to contribute to sustainable development and job creation in Africa’s agri-food sector and rural economy.

On 7 March 2019, this task force presented its report with recommendations, grouped along four strategic areas for action

– a territorial approach for income and job creation
– sustainable land and natural resources management, and climate action
– sustainable transformation of African agriculture
– development of the African food industry and food markets

See agenda TFRA side event.