AgriProFocus and foodFIRST organize a meet-up with Kees Blokland who is member of the EU Task Force Rural Africa, about the report “Towards an Africa Europe Partnership for sustainable development and jobs in rural Africa”. If you want to be informed about the European policy and the consequences for your organization and future partnerships, then please register for the meet-up on March 5, 2019 in The Hague.
End March the EU Task Force Rural Africa will present its report “Towards an Africa Europe Partnership for sustainable development and jobs in rural Africa”, with key areas for action and recommendations, situating them in the context of the new Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs which aims to deepen the EU’s economic and trade partnership with Africa through investment and job creation.
The Task Force advises the European Commission on how best to contribute to sustainable development and job creation in Africa’s agriculture and food sectors and rural economy. It was asked to focus on better coordination of existing initiatives, on boosting investments, sharing knowledge, prioritizing policy and regulatory reforms, and strategies to support youth.
According to Kees Blokland (director of Agriterra and member of the Task Force) the report gives an outline of the cooperation between Africa and Europe in the coming years. The Task Force’s central recommendation is that Africa and the EU should implement an innovative partnership for the inclusive and sustainable development of Africa’s agriculture and food sectors and its rural economy, taking into account a gender approach. Within the partnership, four priority strategic areas for action are proposed, with African political and policy leadership over the medium to long term, supported by European finance, knowledge and implementation capacity:
- A territorial development strategy 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
To implement the proposed Africa EU partnership for the development of the African agriculture and food sectors and its rural economy, the Task Force proposes an Action Plan to be fast tracked within the Alliance and other instruments/frameworks of Africa EU cooperation. In advance of completing the final report, the Task Force has selected six main recommendations to the EU Commission for short to medium term action which we believe the EU should discuss, support and implement with their African partners:
- Support rural governance and an innovative local action programme, based on a territorial approach
- Mainstream environmental sustainability and promote climate action
- Start a knowledge, innovation and networking initiative for transformation of agriculture and rural areas
- Improve access to private finance and to EU cooperation instruments for small and medium size agriculture and food businesses
- Scale up sustainable value chain development, regional integration and intra-regional trade
- Bring together European and African expertise for agriculture and rural development