The Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) and the African Business Group (ABG) have collaborated with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to conduct a capacity needs assessment and development of capacity building measures for strengthening domestic private sector and agribusiness apex bodies in Africa. This is follow-up action on the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) launched in 2003 by African leaders among other things to stimulate economic growth and poverty reduction through improved performance of the agricultural sector in the respective countries and also to improve the quality of their agricultural planning and policy making, and to use this as the basis for scaled-up investments in the sector.
The CAADP Framework provides the scope for countries and regions to mobilise the needed political, technical and financial support for implementation of their country based investment plans (National Agriculture Investment Plans).
After 10 years of implementation of the CAADP in 2013, a performance review revealed that African governments alone could not execute their NAIPs successfully without the participation of the private sector.
Private sector technical skills and capital investment are required to drive and transform the agriculture sectors in their respective countries.
In 2014 the AU Heads of States during the celebration of Malabo “Africa Year of Agriculture” made a strong commitment towards implementation of CAADP and pledged to give priority to local investors.
There is therefore a need for Africa’s private enterprises in the agribusiness sector to be more formally organized (at the country level, and also at the regional and continental level) to enable them pursue global good practices.
That it would be unrealistic to have one model structure for national agribusiness apex bodies in respective countries across Africa.
That Apex Agribusiness bodies should provide the following key services to their members: advocacy, market research, marketing support, business development services and international business linkage support. That a Strategy and Action Plan be developed towards the establishment of a continental agribusiness apex body.
In pursuance of that objective, the AUC-Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture launched an initiative to develop a Continental Action Plan and Strategy for the establishment and/or strengthening of national, regional and continental agribusiness apex bodies. They also initiated a further action/exercise that conceptualized and commissioned diagnostic visits and engagements of agri-business bodies in seven (7) countries (Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia) towards the creation of a proposed continental Apex Body structure and development of a roadmap towards operationalization of the National Apex Agribusiness Chambers (NAACs). The outcome of that exercise was the development of a Framework and Roadmap for the strengthening/establishment of private sector apex agri-business bodies at all levels across the African continent.