FARADataInformS Trending News: GFFA- Panel: Promoting agri-food trade between Africa and the EU

  • 20th March 2020
  • by secretary
The development potential of trade in agriculture and food and its contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was the central topic of a High-Level Panel held by the European Commission in the context of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), in Berlin/Germany in mid-January 2020. The focus was on global trade with Africa and trade-in agriculture within the continent.
What significance do international trade in agriculture and an integrated trade system have in global food security, and can trade in agriculture and food contribute to achieving SDG2? Development Goal 2 formulated by the United Nations stipulate that hunger has to be eliminated and food security and better nutrition needs to be achieved by 2030 and that sustainable agriculture must be promoted. This was the context of the European Union’s High-Level Panel held in the context of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) by the EU Commission in mid-January 2020. Trade-in agriculture and food with African countries and, in particular, inner-African trade were at the forefront of discussions.
In the Malabo Declaration of the African Union (AU) of June 2014, the African countries committed to increasing inner-African trade threefold by 2025. Furthermore, the creation of an African domestic market through the introduction of a free trade zone is planned for 2020. The 55 countries of the AU are divided into five regions; in the future, each individual region’s comparative advantage is to play a greater role in trade.
The participants in the event agreed that it was high time to no longer regard Africa as a pure commodities supplier, but to also grant African trade partners fair access for finished products to the EU. So far, these processed food products had often met with tariff barriers.
Towards the end of the discussion round, the African panelists demanded that Europe contribute more to also allow informal market participants to participate in the value chain under fair conditions, e.g. through training programmes in the context of development cooperation. For most farmers in the countries of Africa were still working in the informal sector, AU Commissar Josefa Sacko emphasized.