Policymakers, researchers, join hands with NEPAD to spur agricultural growth in Mauritania through CAADP…

By Komla Bissi - NEPAD
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Nouakchott, 28th July 2011, The Islamic Republic of Mauritania became the 27th African country and the first in the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) to have signed the African Union and NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) Compact following a successful roundtable that culminated in the endorsement of Mauritania's Compact.

The CAADP roundtable involving the principal stakeholders in Agriculture and Rural Development in Mauritania which was held between the 27th and the 28th of July in Nouakchott, Mauritania was attended by more than 200 participants made up of senior Government officials from Mauritania, representatives of the various ministries responsible for agriculture and rural development, development partners, agricultural experts, policymakers, representatives from farmer organisations, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, representatives of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency).

The CAADP roundtable that was organised by the Government of Mauritania is a sector wide meeting that was used to reach consensus among key stakeholders and it also provided an opportunity to engage on the National Strategy for Agricultural and Food Security (NSAFS) and the National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plan (NAFSIP) for Mauritania. It was intended to forge the necessary partnerships and secure mutual commitments from partners to make the necessary investments in the implementation of the NSAFS and the NAFSIP.

Implementing CAADP provides an opportunity for Mauritania to further strengthen its agricultural development efforts to achieve greater impact on the country's economy and food security. More specifically, signing the CAADP Compact enables Mauritania to set the framework and parameters for long-term partnership in the agricultural sector. It demonstrates the resolve and commitments of government, national stakeholders and development partners to engage jointly and collectively in advancing Mauritania's agriculture development agenda which calls for the harmonisation of all agriculture development initiatives under one umbrella and clarifies stakeholder expectations and responsibilities in order to ensure the successful implementation of agriculture and rural development programmes.

Mauritania's Compact was signed on behalf of the Government of Mauritania by Hon. Dr. Sidi Ould Tah, Minister of Economic Affairs and Development whilst Mr. Komla Bissi, Senior Agribusiness Advisor signed on behalf of the AUC and the NEPAD Agency. Other signatories to the compact included a representative of the Arab Maghred Union, a representative of the development partners, a representative of the private sector, civil society organisations and farmers' organisations.

Speaking on behalf of the AUC and the NEPAD Agency, Mr Komla Bissi used his opening remarks to call upon Mauritanians and stakeholders in the agriculture sector to continue to work together in order to boost the growth and development of agriculture for the benefit of their people.

According to Mr Bissi, countries which take on the CAADP principles later than others should have an advantage to do things better. He urged Mauritania to take advantage of the lessons from the continent and to undertake post-Compact actions better because mistakes can be avoided while good experiences can be expounded.

He pledged AUC/NEPAD Agency support in the context of the mandates of the two institutions to continue to make the necessary commitments both political and technical in support of Mauritania in creating an enabling environment, mobilising resources, strengthening capacities for program implementation, coordination and supporting the implementation of programs and to rally political support both at continental, regional and country levels in order to deliver on the compact commitments.