Kilimokwanza.org Team – Bringing you the latest updates on agricultural development and food system transformation in Africa.
Nairobi, Kenya – AGRA has hosted a national parliamentary retreat in Kenya, marking a significant step towards enhancing Parliament’s role in transforming the country’s agri-food systems. The retreat provided a vital platform for lawmakers, particularly those from the Finance, Budget, National Planning, Agriculture, and Food Security committees, to deliberate on strategies for bolstering Parliament’s involvement in Kenya’s agricultural transformation.
Pioneering Efforts for Agricultural Development
The Chairperson of the Agriculture and Livestock Committee, Hon. Dr. John Mutunga, highlighted the urgency of the situation. “This meeting is crucial for all stakeholders. It’s imperative to develop policies that will drive Africa’s green revolution, considering the pivotal role of agriculture as the economic backbone of many African countries,” he emphasized.
Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA, represented by Dr. John Macharia, AGRA’s Kenya Country Director, accentuated the importance of engaging lawmakers in driving sustainable food systems. “This retreat is a turning point in our collective journey towards inclusive agri-food transformation. AGRA aims to foster a strong agency of action and collectivism, promoting parliamentary support for national food system pathways and addressing key areas like regional legislation for enhanced food trade and markets,” she stated.
The Role of Africa Food Systems Parliamentary Network (AFSPaN)
Operating under the AFSPaN initiative, the retreat mobilized parliamentary support for inclusive agri-food system transformation across the continent. AFSPaN, officially launched at the 19th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) Partnership Platform in Lusaka, Zambia, connects parliamentarians from various legislative bodies, focusing on vital committees such as Agriculture, Environment, Food Security, Finance, Budget and Planning, and Trade. The network aims to catalyze change and foster collaboration among stakeholders to advance the continental agenda for inclusive agri-food system transformation.
Building on Success and Looking Forward
Following successful engagements in Ghana and Nigeria, the Mombasa retreat sets the stage for future initiatives in Malawi. The expected outcomes include increased parliamentary support for continental goals, enhanced capacity building, and the formation of a coalition between parliamentarians and non-state actors for robust national-level advocacy.
Collaborative Partnerships for Impact
AGRA’s collaboration with organizations like Care International, ActionAid, Policy Link, ONE Campaign, IFPRI, Akademiya 2063, and Shamba Centre, aims to enhance the collective impact of government decision-makers, Parliament, and non-state actors. These partnerships are focused on advocating for food system pathways and leveraging outcomes from the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) to forge a sustainable and resilient agri-food system.
The Way Forward
As Kenya and other African nations move towards sustainable agriculture, the role of lawmakers becomes increasingly vital. The collaboration between AGRA and parliamentary bodies through AFSPaN reflects a strong commitment to fostering inclusive agri-food system transformation across Africa. This initiative is a critical step in ensuring that agriculture not only thrives economically but also contributes to broader societal and environmental goals.