Uganda has grabbed the spotlight by assuming the leadership of the African Union’s Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water, and Environment (ARDWE). This means Uganda will play a crucial role in shaping policies and strategies related to these vital sectors across the African continent.
- On November 17, 2023, Frank Tumwebaze, Uganda’s Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, officially became the Chair of the 5th Session of the ARDWE Committee.
- Uganda will hold this position for the next two years, and Tumwebaze’s tasks include presenting a successor continental Agriculture Development Program to the AU summit by 2025.
- Tumwebaze emphasized the need to develop a post-Malabo agenda (2026-2035) and proposed that the summit endorsing it be held in Kampala, Uganda.
- Significance of the position:
- The ARDWE Committee addresses critical issues in Agriculture, Rural Development, Water, and Environment across the African Union. Uganda’s leadership signifies its commitment to sustainable development and environmental conservation.
- Challenges addressed:
- Tumwebaze highlighted the prevalence of food insecurity, with over 280 million people affected in Africa. He emphasized the need to boost agricultural productivity, add value to produce, integrate food markets, and implement policy reforms.
- Post-Malabo agenda:
- Tumwebaze stressed the urgency of developing the post-Malabo agenda (2026-2035) and called for collective efforts to meet the goals set by the Heads of State and Government in 2014.
- Climate change concerns:
- Acknowledging the real impact of climate change on farming systems and livelihoods, Tumwebaze expressed interest in actions related to climate-resilient agriculture and a resilient Africa blue economy.
- Partnerships and opportunities:
- Uganda’s chairmanship opens avenues for potential partnerships, investments, and collaborations aligned with the committee’s goals, offering opportunities for businesses to engage with emerging developments in these sectors.
Conclusion: Uganda’s leadership in the ARDWE Committee is a significant milestone, empowering the country to contribute actively to the future of agriculture, rural development, water, and environmental policies across the African Union. This development holds promise for collaborative initiatives and economic growth in these crucial sectors.