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African Union New Partnership for

Commission Africa’s Development

AU-NEPAD Food and Nutrition Security Workshop:
Accelerating Country Investments in Response to High Food Prices and
Food Insecurity

Workshop Concept Note


Following the Abuja Food Security Summit held December 4-7, 2006, the
implementation of AU-NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development
Programme (CAADP) Pillar 3 “Increasing food supply, reducing hunger and
improving responses to food emergency crises” agenda in the context of the
broader African agriculture priorities has gained momentum. CAADP is an Africa led
initiative and framework to rationalize and revitalize African agriculture for economic
growth and lasting poverty reduction results. This is reinforced by the Thematic Working
Group (TWG) on Agriculture and Food Security of the MDG Initiative for Africa that has
recently been established under the auspices of the UN and AU.

The AU and NEPAD have been taking stock of the progress made in developing the
national CAADP Round Tables (RT) and have been concerned about the need to
accelerate the implementation of food security and nutrition action plans, especially
given the current rising food prices and their negative effects on food security,
particularly for vulnerable groups. To further support the round table process and with
identification of early actions to combat food insecurity, the ‘Framework for African Food
Security’ (FAFS), ‘The Pan African Nutrition Initiative’ (PANI) and the ‘Africa Ten Year
Strategy for the Reduction of Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies’ (ATYS-VMD) have been
developed to guide the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and countries with their
programme planning.

Since 2005 a number of agricultural commodity prices have shown a robust upward
trend. The FAO Food Price Index averaged 23% higher in 2007 compared with 2006 as
international commodity prices increased sharply throughout the past year. What
distinguishes the current state of agricultural markets is rather the concurrence of the
hike of world prices of, not just a selected few, but nearly all major food and feed
commodities and the possibility that the prices may continue to remain high after the
effects of short term shocks dissipate.

This rapid increase in prices of key agricultural commodities in 2007 has put the surge of
food prices on top of the agenda of policy makers worldwide. Consumers in
developing countries, developed and transition countries are facing higher prices
for basic foodstuff such as bread, milk and meat. According to the UN, the threat of
malnutrition and hunger is growing and millions of the most vulnerable people,
mainly in developing countries, are at risk because they can not afford to buy
sufficient food to meet their nutrient requirements. Social consequences such as
food riots have been observed in many regions across the world, including
countries in North Africa and West Africa.


It is recognized that the current trend of rising food prices will negatively impact on the
food and nutrition security of the most vulnerable groups as it will reduce food access for
the poorest population strata.

Considering that high food prices also represent an opportunity for African Agriculture
and for increased agricultural productivity and investment, the African Union through the
NEPAD secretariat and its development partners have agreed on a common process to
operationalize CAADP Pillar 3 at the country level.

To assist African countries address the issue of rising food prices, the adverse effects of
which has already resulted in riots or protests in a number of countries, the AU/NEPAD
is planning an investment workshop to scale up investment to affected African countries.

It is envisaged that recommended options for action will fall within broad categories
corresponding to measures that aim to promote the supply response of farmers to
higher prices and policies on the one hand, and programmes to protect the most
vulnerable groups in the society from drastic reduction in food intake as a result of
reduced purchasing power following higher food prices.


To eventually arrive at the final project documents for financing and implementation, the
process will involve preparing country concept notes and programmes through an
inclusive multi-stakeholder consultative process leading to a joint programming
workshop to convene in May 20-23 2008 in South Africa.

The workshop will bring together representative of selected countries affected by rising
food prices, development partners, AU and NEPAD officials, technical specialists. It will
consist of plenary and group sessions over a four-day period, with the assistance of
professional facilitators and resource persons. The first day of the workshop will expose
the participants to the principle of CAADP and of Pillar 3 in particular. This will be
followed by multi-country panels focused on the specific themes of Pillar 3: food supply,
food availability, nutrition, and emergency response systems. Then the workshop will
switch into country-specific groups, in which each country will refine their own project
proposal. On the fourth and last day, the countries will present and discuss their
proposals with all the participants. The development partners will offer their perspectives
on the process as well as on the individual proposals.

Goals and Objectives:

The main goal of this workshop is to assist governments in selected countries in Africa to
identify and formulate an appropriate country framework of specific food security
interventions following an approach to boost food production, availability and access to
food for the most vulnerable and cope with higher and more volatile food prices.

Specific objective include:

• Country teams revising their initial project designs for investment
• Developing action plans for finalizing the project preparation
• The participants being exposed to CAADP and in particular CAADP Pillar 3 and its
relevance to investment options for food and nutrition security programmes
• Sharing experiences and learning lessons for effective planning

Expected Outputs/Outcomes:

It is expected that by the end of the five day programming workshop country teams will

• Proposals for concrete short and medium term measures to improve food
security that are ready for further development at the country level
• Action plans for finalizing the preparation and financing of proposed investments
• Greater understanding and exposure to the CAADP framework, CAADP Pillar 3
and its relevance to investment options for food and nutrition security programmes
• Shared lessons and best practices on effective planning and implementation of
food and nutrition security projects in crises and long term focus


Selected Countries on the basis of Developed Criteria: (16 Countries)

The following 16 countries have been selected (based criteria below) to participate in the
programming workshop

1. Burkina Faso (West Africa)

2. Cameroon (Central Africa)
3. Ethiopia (East Africa)
4. Kenya (East Africa)
5. Lesotho (Southern Africa)
6. Malawi (Southern Africa)
7. Mali (West Africa)
8. Mauritania (West Africa)
9. Mozambique (Southern Africa
10. Niger (West Africa)
11. Rwanda (Central Africa/East Africa)
12. Sierra Leone (West Africa)
13. Senegal (West Africa)
14. Swaziland (Southern Africa)
15. Uganda (East Africa)

16. Zambia (Southern Africa)

The following countries will be invited to share their experiences given their important
role in food security in their regions;

1. Egypt
2. Nigeria
3. South Africa

Criteria for Selection of Countries:

• Country should be affected adversely by rising food prices;

• Country should have been inducted or is advanced in the CAADP roundtable
• Country has demonstrated readiness, as manifested by initiating a response strategy
or program to address the issue;
• Country has chronic malnourishment/malnutrition and is food insecure and is
experiencing a worsening situation because of rising food prices;
• Country represents regional balance (with due weight to linguistic balance)—2nd order
criteria; and
• Country demonstrates interest in participation (Ministry of Finance is on board)—2nd
order criteria.


• 4 participants per country are to be invited.

• Participating country teams should include a mix of experts from Agriculture, Finance
and other relevant technical ministries
• The country teams should include at least one sufficiently senior staff at Permanent
Secretary/Principal Secretary or Director General level or equivalent as eventual
champion for the project in government

Entry Requirement for Participants:

• Participants to prepare background work prior to coming to the workshop

• Ascertain interest and commitment from their Ministry of Finance

Venue and Dates:

The programming workshop will be held in South Africa, from May 20 -23, 2008


Professional facilitators and moderators will be commissioned to direct and manage the
workshop processes.

The working languages for the workshop will be English and French with simultaneous
interpretation provided. Working documents will also be available in both languages.


Confirmed participants from the selected countries will be fully funded through the
AU/NEPAD to attend the five day workshop.