FRA and a number of regional partners to include Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers (ESAFF) Uganda and Tanzania, ActionAid International, Agricultural Non State Actors Forum (ANSAF) and Mviwata- a national farmers organization, on Wednesday 25th April, 2018 met with EALA’s committee on Agriculture during the Assembly’s 4th Meeting of the 1st Session. This committee was chaired by Hon. Mathias Kasamba and other Committee members.
This strategic meeting brought together a total of 40 participates disaggregated into 21 male and 19 women. This engagement was guided by an NSA analysis on the performance of the EAC countries in the African Union Commission Biennial Review report that was released on 30th January 2018 in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia which tracked and reported on the performance of countries from 2015-2016 in implementing the commitments of the CAADP Malabo Declaration.
According this report, the overall average score for the region is 4.20 which indicates that region is on-track in meeting the Malabo commitments when assessed against the 3.94 benchmark for 2017. Further, the region is on track in four commitment areas; i) Re-commitment to CAADP process ii) Halving poverty through agriculture by 2025; iii) Boosting intra-African trade in agriculture commodities and iv)Enhancing Mutual accountability for actions and results. Unfortunately, this report highlighted three areas of the region’s under-performance which include i) Enhancing investment finance in agriculture; ii) Ending hunger by 2025; and iii) Enhancing resilience to climate variability.
NSAs noted that it is immoral that the region was caught off track on ending Hunger, given the cost of it to other development indicators and human capital of the region and a key ingredient for transformation. NSAs asked that the EALA through this Committee fast tracks the renewal of the EAC Food security Action Plan and to facilitate the fast-tracking of the implementation of the EAC Regional Agric Investment Plan (RAIP) and emphasize its support to National Agriculture Investment Plans (NAIPs) through offering capacity building to member states to formulate/revise/update them.
This discussion further focused on the EAC budget processes and EAC people’s participation given that as per the protocol for its establishment, the EAC is people centered. NSAs observed that this regional process is governed by the EAC Budget Act 2008, specifically governing the rules of procedure, drafting, debating and passing in the region. According to this analysis, this regional budgeting process still lacks inclusivity partly due to the design that limits knowledge of entry points and structures process engagements with NSAs. Regional partners called for a bottom-up and people centered budget by bringing on board regional NSAs to make input at the budget preparation stage.
By Regina Kabasomi
Food Rights Alliance