The European Commission had its Task Force Rural Africa kick off meeting on 24 May. The expert group on agriculture in Africa will assist the Commission by providing it with expertise, advice and recommendations on reinforcing the EU-Africa partnership in food and farming, aiming to further develop Africa’s agricultural sector and increase job creation.
The Task Force Rural Africa’s work will be structured around the following tasks:
- providing advice on how to accelerate impact, based on a better coordination with existing initiatives; and how to focus on boosting public and private investments in African sustainable agriculture
- examining how to best share knowledge and know-how, to enable job creation and revenue-generating activities in rural Africa
- identifying strategies to promote and prioritise agricultural policy and regulatory reform in African countries in line with the Malabo Declaration, and facilitate EU responsible private investments, to boost intra-African trade as well as exports from African countries
- identifying strategies to support African youth working in agriculture, agribusiness and agroindustry.
The Task Force Rural Africa is composed of 11 members, selected for their high-level expertise and experience in agriculture, trade, development policy or migration, including first-hand knowledge of the agri-food sector in Africa. These members, appointed in a personal capacity, are Ms Celine Bipko, Mr Kees Blokland, Mr Albert Engel, Mr Bruno Losch, Mr Baudouin Michel, Mr Joseph Owano Kono, Mr Francesco Rampa, Ms Chinwe Ifejika Speranza, Ms Cristine Wieck, Mr Mashiri Zvarimwa. The chairperson is Mr Tom Arnold.
Experts will meet for six full day sessions, concluding with a final report to be presented in January 2019. This report will include recommendations and where appropriate, proposals for further initiatives under the Joint Africa EU Strategy.
European Union-African Union political dialogue on agriculture has been gaining ground, with most recently the EU-AU Agriculture Ministerial Conference in Rome in July 2017. The outcome of this conference fed in the fifth Africa-EU Summit, which took place in November 2017. This enhanced cooperation, based on promoting policy dialogue as a tool for development, highlights the necessity to strengthen EU-Africa partnership in agriculture for a sustainable future.
24 May 2018