Press Statement

New African agricultural transformation scorecard highlights continent’s progress

Feb 1, 2018

Statement by Ousmane Badiane
Director for Africa
The Inaugural CAADP Biennial Review Report: Launch of the African Agricultural Transformation Scorecard and Recognition of Five African Countries as Best Performers
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
29 January 2018

On January 29, 2018, the African Union (AU) launched the first-ever African Agricultural Transformation Scorecard (AATS) during its 30th ordinary session of the assembly of the African heads of state and government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The scorecard is an innovative tool for evaluating agriculture sector progress of African countries toward achieving the seven broad commitments of the 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods. In the Declaration, African leaders pledged to hold themselves accountable to the commitments by conducting a continental level biennial agricultural review to monitor and report on progress.

Following the adoption of the Malabo Declaration in 2014, the African Union Commission (AUC), the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), in collaboration with regional economic communities (RECs), and various technical partners, led efforts to operationalize the mutual accountability commitment and prepare for the inaugural Biennial Review (BR) in 2018. This included

i) development of 43 CAADP/Malabo indicators that would be used to benchmark country progress toward meeting each of the seven Malabo commitments;

ii) preparation of various reporting guidelines, tools, templates, and a scorecard methodology; and

iii) organization of six regional training workshops, held between February and July 2017, for 156 national experts from 52 countries on the various BR tools.

A total of 47 out of 55 AU member states submitted BR reports and data that was used to produce country scorecards and the continental BR report. The level of reporting by regions was strong and as follows: central Africa (100 percent), eastern Africa (67 percent), northern Africa (57 percent), southern Africa (100 percent), and western Africa (93 percent). This strength of reporting is a commendable achievement, given that rollout of the process was delayed and several countries faced challenges related to poor quality data, limited time for data collection and analysis, and limited financial resources to support the process, including for holding inclusive report validation workshops.

Out of the 47 reporting countries, 20 obtained an overall agricultural transformation score of at least 3.9 out of 10 indicating that they are on track to achieving Malabo commitments by 2025. They include: Benin (4.3), Botswana (4.4), Burundi (4.7), Burkina Faso (4.2), Cape Verde (4.6), Ethiopia (5.3), Kenya (4.8), Malawi (4.9), Mali (5.6), Mauritania (4.8), Mauritius (5.0), Morocco (5.5), Mozambique (4.1), Namibia (4.1), Rwanda (6.1), Seychelles (4.0), South Africa (4.1), Swaziland (4.0), Togo (4.9), and Uganda (4.5). Regionally, only eastern and southern Africa are on track to achieving the Malabo commitments with scores of 4.2 and 4.0, respectively. With a score of 3.6, Africa, on the whole, is not on track to achieving the Malabo commitments.

Five countries were recognized during the summit as having made the most progress in implementing the provisions of the Malabo Declaration and accelerating agricultural transformation. Rwanda, with a score of 6.1, was recognized as the best performing country in implementing all seven commitments of the Declaration. Mali and Morocco came in at the second and third place with agricultural transformation scores of 5.6 and 5.5, respectively. Lesotho was recognized for having made the most progress on the overall commitment to promote intra-African agricultural trade, also a theme of the summit, while Botswana was presented with the award for having the highest score for facilitating intra-African agricultural trade.

A CAADP champion, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, applauded the CAADP BR process and AATS during his summit remarks and given the importance of the agriculture sector, called for more frequent reporting through a presidential level scorecard similar to the one under the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.

The Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) provided important technical assistance to the BR process, along with other technical partners. ReSAKSS is a program to support CAADP implementation that is facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Specifically, ReSAKSS supported the development of technical guidelines, tools, and indicators and provided training to national experts and technical assistance to countries and RECs on data collection, analysis, and the drafting of country reports and scorecards, regional summaries, and the continental report. ReSAKSS was able to effectively support the process by leveraging its network of regional nodes for i) East and Central Africa hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya ii) Southern Africa hosted by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Pretoria, South Africa, and iii) West Africa hosted by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria. The African Union Commission has noted the dynamism of technical partners such as ReSAKSS in ensuring a successful inaugural BR process.

The inaugural BR process and report highlight not only the progress being made by African countries, but also the challenges that need to be urgently addressed to drive agricultural transformation on the continent. Africa on the whole made the most progress in recommitting to the principles and values of the CAADP process by having improved plans, policies, and institutional arrangements to support CAADP/Malabo implementation (63 percent of reporting countries), and establishing inclusive mechanisms and platforms for mutual accountability and peer review (30 out of 32 reporting countries are on track). Progress has been slower with respect to ending hunger by 2025 (only 9 countries are on track); tripling intra-African agricultural trade; enhancing investments to build resilience; allocating at least 10 percent of the national budget to agriculture (only 10 countries met the target); and achieving a 6 percent annual agricultural growth for poverty reduction (only 18 countries achieved target).

The 30th ordinary summit of African leaders concluded with a call for “…all member states of the African Union, to mobilize adequate technical and financial resources in supporting agricultural data systems, monitoring and evaluation systems and strengthen mutual accountability structures to trigger evidence-based planning for agriculture transformation.”