ECA should promote cross-country experiences sharing and learning for accelerated Africa's agric transformation - Ethiopian Minister

By Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 28, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Ethiopia's State Minister for Agriculture, Mr Wondirad Mandefro has praised ECA for its transformative system wide and prospective approach that has contributed to the success story of some MDGs in Africa, while encouraging the Commission to capitalize on cross-country learning for the continent's agricultural and rural transformation. Mr Mandefro addressed officials from ECA, the NEPAD Agency, several Ethiopian ministries, the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) and other partners who gathered in Addis Ababa last 16 May, to validate the Ethiopia case study of a continent-wide enquiry into the pillars and drivers on which to ground successfully Africa's Agricultural and Rural Transformation. To measure progress towards tangible structural transformative changes, the participants called for an index of successful agricultural transformation cases.

The study, which is part of ECA's support to the NEPAD Agency, underscores the need for countries such as Ethiopia to industrialize their huge agricultural sector in order to create more jobs and accelerate its on-going economic transformation.

Agriculture should be the propeller of Africa's industrialization and overall economic development, Mr Mandefro told participants at the workshop, adding that any strategy for its transformation should target small scale farmers in order to move their production systems from the level of subsistence to that of a more market oriented one.

Similar country case-studies have been completed in Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Botswana and Mauritius, while more of them are underway elsewhere on the continent. The study's theme of rethinking agricultural and rural transformation in Africa is a key area of focus at activities to mark 50 years of the African Union.