Oxfam in West Africa
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In the way For Malabo

May 13th, 2014 Posted in Agriculture, English
Credit-Kieran Doherty

Credit-Kieran Doherty

 When the GROW campaign member organisations launched the “Where is our 10%?” campaign a year ago, the main aim was to remind African leaders of the African proverb “The promise is more binding than the debt”.

On 10th July 2013, the GROW campaign in West Africa launched the “Where is our 10%?” campaign to remind African Heads of State of the commitments they made in Maputo, ten years ago.

In 2003, African livestock herders and farmers welcomed with great enthusiasm and hope the statement made by the Heads of State to support agriculture and livestock farming and help contribute to food sovereignty in African States. One of the key measures was the commitment to “adopting sound agricultural development policies and to allocate, within five years, at least 10% of their national budget each year to implementing them […]”.

Ten years later only 8 African countries (Burkina Faso, Niger, Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Malawi, Ghana and Ethiopia) have respected their promise. And yet, in West Africa small scale farmers and livestock farmers make up more than 60% of the working population and contribute 30% to GDP.

The scarce resources allocated to agriculture mainly serve to run the operating budget, instead of representing real investment that benefits farmers and livestock herders. ODA continues to correspond to up to 70% of agricultural budgets!

For close to a whole year now, the West Africa GROW campaign has made the voices of the farmers and livestock herders of the region heard in the hopes that in June 2014 during the Malabo summit, the national budget share allocated to agriculture increases and directly benefits the small family farmers and livestock farmers.

We have had an intense year of research and lobbying decision makers, backed by major media and popular mobilisation work! One year to make some noise about the role of family farming and livestock farming with the networks involved in this such as Apess, RBM, Poscao and with organisations such as Wildaf and the NGO ONE; as well as with the 10 African celebrities who sang the “Where is our 10%?” song together and the African leaders who signed the Appeal to 10 leaders for more investment in agriculture.

The upshot is that one month from the Malabo summit close to 600 000 African citizens have signed the petition initiated by the GROW campaign and ONE.

This petition supports the 10 civil society recommendations, the fruit of analysis and reflection by around ten African civil society organisations with the support of over fifty African organisations.

In Addis Ababa, during the agriculture ministerial meeting that took place from 28th April to 2nd May 2014, the GROW campaign members and their allies presented these recommendations to the agriculture Ministers and their technical staff.

We hope that the voices of the African livestock farmers and farmers will be heard at the Malabo summit…and between now and this meeting, we will pursue the campaign by mobilising the public to sign the petition and above all by increasing the lobby meetings with African decision makers.

West African farmers and livestock herders need you! So get mobilised to demand governments respect the commitments they made.

Kiné-Fatime Diop

Public Facing Officer

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