Joint Statement - First Plenary Meeting of the Africa Global Partnership Platform
1. The first plenary meeting of the Africa Global Partnership Platform (hereinafter the “AGPP” or the “Platform”) was held in Dakar on 22 October 2015, under the actual presidency of His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, and Chair of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee. High Representatives welcomed the establishment of the AGPP by the African Union and the leadership shown by African governments.
2. The meeting dealt with the twin themes of food security and agriculture, and infrastructure financing. His Excellency Macky Sall delivered the address before an audience comprised of High Representatives of AU member states represented in the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, Africa’s major trade, investment and development partners, together with the EU, and relevant African, UN and other international organizations as observers. In all, 33 countries and institutions participated in the meeting.
Launch of the Africa Global Partnership Platform
3. High Representatives warmly welcomed the launch of the African Global Partnership Platform, which comes at a turning point in this year of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its relevant Goals, the upcoming Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and WTO trade negotiations scheduled for December 2015 in Nairobi.
4. The meeting expressed its full support for the Platform as the new African-led and owned partnership mechanism for high-level dialogue on Africa’s priorities between Africa and its major trade, investment and development partners. It was emphasized that the Platform should aim to foster greater coherence between the existing bilateral relationships between Africa and its partners; not replace them but rather complement them.
5. High Representatives expressed their full support for the objectives of the Platform, which are to: i) support the African Union’s vision of an integrated, peaceful and prosperous Africa, including the principles and targets set out in Agenda 2063, and within this, NEPAD as the flagship development strategy and implementation coordinator; and, ii) enable the better integration of Africa’s interests, concerns, priorities and perspectives into wider global processes for coherent support towards stronger action.
Food Security and Agriculture
6. Recalling the Sustainable Development Goal 2 of ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture, the meeting re-affirmed the strong commitment of both Africa and its partners to achieving food security for the continent.
7. The meeting welcomed the commitments made by African Heads of States and Government as expressed in the goals and targets of the Accelerated African Agricultural Growth and Transformation Goals 2025 (3AGTG) as captured in the Malabo Declaration of June 2014, including the commitment to ending hunger in Africa by 2025.
8. High Representatives also welcomed the strong emphasis in the Malabo Declaration on agricultural growth and transformation to create agricultural commodity value chains for smallholder farmers, create job opportunities for the youth in food and agricultural value chains, and support entry and participation of women and youth in agricultural and agri-food SMEs, in line with SDG 8. This is seen as the most viable entry point for sustainable industrialization on the continent. High Representatives noted in particular African Leaders’ commitment to boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services. The meeting also underlined the need to promote further regional integration, particularly through the development of intra-African trade of food and agricultural commodities. The signing of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Agreement and the fast-tracking of negotiations for the Continental Free Trade Area in mid-2015 will hopefully contribute to more stable food and agricultural markets at regional and country levels in Africa.
9. The meeting highlighted funding gaps that exists for CAADP implementation and encouraged African governments to make additional efforts in increasing public investment in agriculture. The aim of which is to reach the CAADP goal of allocating at least 10% of public expenditure to the agricultural sector. Consistent with the commitment to help Africa become hunger-free, development partners should also consider strengthening their support for Africa’s agriculture and food security and ensure it aligns with the goals and targets contained in the CAADP results framework. The meeting also highlighted the need for innovative financing solutions and greater collaboration between the public and private sectors, while respecting international rules and principles aiming to ensure the involvement and strengthening of smallholders and producers.
10. The meeting emphasized the importance of African governments and their partners considering how best to scale-up investments in climate-smart agriculture. It also underlined the key role that agriculture can play, particularly in Africa, in tackling climate change and its consequences, by preserving soils and increasing their fertility and capacity to capture carbon gas. The meeting welcomed the establishment of the June 2014 High Level Work Programme on Climate Change Action in Africa.
11. The meeting also provided the opportunity to review recent G20 and G7 actions with respect to agriculture, food security and nutrition. High Representatives noted that it was important to draw linkages between the work of the AGPP and that of the G20 and G7, taking into account Africa’s priorities and needs, with the view to ensuring strong alignment in tracking support and implementation through the CAADP Results Framework.
12. The meeting recognized the importance of regional infrastructure development for Africa’s growth as specified in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and highlighted by the G20 Infrastructure Action Plan, Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund and Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostics. Members also recalled the commitments relating to infrastructure made during the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.
13. The meeting noted the need to leverage and increase private sector financing for regional and trans-boundary infrastructure projects in order to realize their transformative potential. Members noted the need to work together to harness international support to address bottlenecks to PIDA implementation and infrastructure development in Africa as identified by the Dakar Financing Summit of June 2014. The June 2014 Dakar Agenda for Action that aims to build and strengthen innovative synergies between the public and private sectors for implementing 16 priority projects was welcomed.
14. In line with the orientations of SDG 17, the meeting also noted the need to tap into alternative sources of financing for Africa’s infrastructure development such as institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds and diaspora remittances, as well as innovative financing instruments such as diaspora bonds, horizon-matching instruments and creative public-private partnerships (PPPs). High Representatives underscored the need to strengthen the mobilization of African domestic resources, and to further efforts to reinforce Africa’s existing project preparation capacities in order to attract private sector participation.
15. High Representatives stressed the critical importance of harmonizing national regulatory frameworks for infrastructure development and ensuring legal and fiscal stability in order to boost the confidence of the private sector for investing in mega regional infrastructure projects. To this effect, the meeting highlighted the need to implement risk mitigation instruments to speed up infrastructure project financing in Africa. Furthermore, in line with SDG 9, it is important to underline the need to ensure the resilience and quality of infrastructure, which is a major issue for many African countries.
16. High Representatives warmly thanked His Excellency Macky Sall and the Government of Senegal for their strong and active support in hosting the first session of the Africa Global Partnership Platform and for the excellent arrangements. It was agreed that the next meeting will be held in 2016.