Interview [ID: 115]

Ibrahim Mayaki on increased agriculture investments of African states

“Literally all African politicians promise in their election campaigns to prioritize agriculture,” Mayaki said. The CAADP Results Framework would now provide a tool to hold them accountable and make sure they are coherent with their speeches.

In this interview, Nepad CEO Ibrahim Mayaki provides a status quo on how far African countries have come on delivering their critical pledge to allocate 10% of their national budget to agriculture development. A commitment the African leaders reiterated in Malabo again recently. Mayaki elaborates on his agency’s role in coordinating the various CAADP actors and the challenges it faces at the various levels from being a policy-formulating and implementing body at the same time. He concludes with a two-pronged message to donors: Align to Malabo and frame your support according to the needs of the African countries. The secretariat interviewed Mayaki at KfW’s 2015 Development Finance Forum in Frankfurt, where he sat on a panel discussing public investment in rural development to enhance food and nutrition security. Mayaki stated during the discussion that African governments had seen a tremendous increase of revenue available to them over the course of the last 12 years.

Video

Ibrahim Mayaki on increased agriculture investments of African states. July 2015.

Nepad agency CEO Ibrahim Mayaki provides a status on how far African countries are with delivering on their pledge to allocate 10% of their revenue to agriculture development.

He also elaborates on Nepad’s role in coordinating CAADP actors and the challenges it faces. Finally, he has a two-pronged messages to donors.

Transcript

Pascal Corbé (Secretariat): Mr. Mayaki, you are over in Frankfurt at KFW’s Development Finance Forum. On a panel you mentioned that African governments have seen a tremendous increase of budgets available to them in the last decade or so. In Maputo and Malabo, these governments had declared to allocate 10% of their budget towards agriculture. Why has this allocation not taken place so far? And, what could be done about it?

Ibrahim Mayaki: The internal revenue was increased because governments put in place the necessary economic macroeconomic measures and took good governance measures in order to allow an increase in internal revenue. It’s a good thing. Maputo decided a target of 10% of public resources is allocated to agriculture. If we look at the stats today, about seven countries since 2005 have invested at least once more than 10% in the agricultural sector. And, around 23 countries invested between 7-10% of their public resources. So, we are beyond the target.

The positive thing is: the curve, and the tendency is very positive because we see more and more countries investing more. But, it’s not enough because we are way beyond the target and we need to do much more.

In Malabo, we framed the Malabo strategy and we included in CAADP Results Framework that will allow us to track more effectively a certain number of indicators, and among these indicators will be the one regarding public resources. So, it will allow us to push the leaders to be much more accountable and much more in coherence with political speeches. As you know, every candidate to a presidential post in Africa, all of them, every candidate announces that agriculture and rural development is his priority. So, we need to take them at their word, and show to them, in terms of accountability, we are doing well or we are not doing well. But, I am optimist because agriculture has been at the centre of the public policy debate. And, I am optimistic also because with democratisation and intensification of democracy, civil society organisations grow. Farmers’ organisations are getting more and more present in the policy design processes, and they pressure the governments so that public allocation to the sector does increase.

Pascal Corbé (Secretariat): You mentioned CAADP already. Does Nepad have the authority to organise the different players around CAADP? I’m asking because there seems to be a lack of clarity on whose doing what in the Results Framework?

Ibrahim Mayaki: You are absolutely right. The landscape that has to be much more organised. Theoretically, if you look at Nepad’s role, it is a role of an implementing agency of the African Union. So, the African Union Commission has a role to play in terms of policy at policy level, and we have a role to play at the implementation level. Which means, it is our responsibility as an implementing agency, to work and support the regional economy communities -- and to work with the national governments. We have that vertical coherence from the continental level to the national level. Fundamentally, as an implementing agency, we need to provide technical support; we need to evaluate how the implementation is taking place. And then take the feedback - get the stats, the data - take the feedback to the regional and the continental level so the adjustments can be made. This is the theoretical model.

Now, we are facing evidential challenges: challenges in terms of increasing our internal capacity; challenges in coordinating several actors; challenges in terms of the capacities of regional economic communities themselves to act at the regional level; challenges of African Commission level because sometimes, some of them don’t really understand the differences between policy design and implementation – most of them do, some of them don’t. So, within these challenges, we have to be very firm, very adaptive, but to keep in mind that if there is no coherence, adaption will not take place.

Pascal Corbé (Secretariat): One message from your side to the donors that are active in agriculture and rural development?

Ibrahim Mayaki: From the donors, since Paris Declaration to Accra, to Busan, there are two main principles that are very important: alignment is very important - so now what we are requesting is alignment to Malabo, and two - frame the frameworks according to the needs within that context of alignment. So, if we have that sound communication, I think that things will go okay.

Pascal Corbé (Secretariat): Thank you very much!

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