The delegation of Malabo Montpellier panel convened in The Gambia on 17th December 2019 to launch and discuss the latest report of the Malabo Panel on energy sector reforms and transformation of Africa’s agricultural sector and food system. The event hosted in Banjul by Ministry of Agriculture and the government of The Gambia marks 5th session of Malabo Montpellier Forum.
The Malabo Montpellier Panel consists of seventeen leading African and International experts in agriculture, ecology, nutrition and food security to facilitate policy choices by African governments to accelerate progress towards food security and improved nutrition in Africa. The event was Co-chaired by the Hon.Minister for Agriculture Madam Amie Fabureh, Ousmane Badiane Director of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), other panellist include Joachim von Braun the Director of the Center for Development Research at University of Bonn and CO-Chair Malabo Montpellier Panel ,the Parmanent of the Ministry of the Agriculture Mr.Momoudou Mbaye Janbang.
The Panel identified areas of progress and positive change across the continent and assesses what successful countries have done differently. It also identifies the most important institutional innovations and policy and program interventions that can be replicated and scaled up by other countries.
The Malabo 2019 report makes five recommendations for African governments and the private sector to replicate and bring to scale, with the ultimate aim of improving the rural poor access to energy, enhancing rural livelihoods and supporting food security, health outcomes and environmental management across the continent.
Hon. Fabureh in her opening statement stated
The Government of Gambia is indeed honored to host 5th session of the forum “The importance of this forum cannot be overemphasized given the policy directions and guidance enshrined in the AU Agenda 2063 of the Sustainable Development goals and the Malabo Declaration for the achievement of Food and Nutrition Security across the African continent.
She also emphasized the need to endeavor to fulfill commitments made to move the agricultural development agenda to the next level so as to make it an engine of economic growth and development .Whiles Improving livelihoods and source of jobs creation for the teeming youthful population, With respect to the Malabo Declaration of committing 10% of National budgets to Agriculture.
The Biennial report has so far indicated that a good number of countries in Africa are lagging behind and the need make sincere efforts to change this trend.
Under the auspices of the AU NEPAD, The Gambia have have been working on the implementation of Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) through various regional economic comminutes that has culminated in the mobilization of resources in the Regional and National Agricultural Investment Plans.
The theme, Energized Policy innovations to power the transformation of Africa’s agriculture and food system is quite appropriate at this time in our drive to achieve food security and meaningful agricultural development that will help in changing the lives of the farming communities and boost economic growth. The energy requirements necessary to boost agricultural development cannot be under estimated. Yet we must be mindful of the negative impact of climate change due to our utilization of fossil fuel products in energy generation and distribution. It is therefore imperative that to come up with renewable energy innovative solutions and climate smart approaches to forge ahead she concluded” .
Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia are the six leading African countries who have made progress in terms of providing energy accessibility to rural farmers and women.
Gambian Professor Muhammad M.O. Kah, who is currently the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Professor of Information Technology and Computing at the American University of Nigeria also serves as a member of the Malabo-Montpellier Panel stated that “Under the Malabo Declaration, African governments have committed themselves to increase the use of reliable and affordable mechanization and energy supplies, including agricultural inputs. Africa is not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services by 2030. The Malabo report offers valuable insights and recommendations to help hasten Africa’s journey towards universal energy access”. The forum was attended by representative across Africa from the environment, agriculture, energy and engineering sector.