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ReSAKSS September/October 2010 e-Newsletter editorial, by the ReSAKSS Team

November 9, 2010

The first three quarters of 2010 have seen a great deal of progress in the CAADP process. To date, 22 countries and one regional economic community, ECOWAS, have completed Roundtables and signed CAADP compacts.  Since May 2010, 17 of those countries and ECOWAS have moved on to develop their agricultural investment plans that have gone through different stages of the Technical Review process. Fifteen of the countries submitted their agricultural investment plans for funding under the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) to fill gaps in the budgets committed by government, private-sector and other development partner agencies.

So far five countries have been awarded GAFSP funding totaling $223.5 million, with three of them—Rwanda ($50 million), Sierra Leone ($50 million) and Togo ($39 million) —receiving their awards in June 2010 and the remaining two—Ethiopia ($51.5 million) and Niger ($33 million)—in November 2010.  The GAFSP fund call for proposals was first launched in May 2010 with June 14, 2010 and October 1, 2010 being the two windows for countries to submit their proposals. While only a third of the proposals from African countries have been funded so far, it is anticipated that more funds will be become available for another round of awards in early 2011.  Therefore countries should be on the lookout for more information on the new GAFSP website.

As countries prepare to execute their new investment plans, having M&E systems and mechanisms for review and learning in place will be critical for countries to tell a compelling story of successful implementation.  Consequently, ReSAKSS has moved into phase two of its implementation to assist countries in this process. The ReSAKSS team (ReSAKSS-ECA, ReSAKSS-SA and ReSAKSS-WA) will work with their respective members’ country CAADP teams to set up country SAKSS nodes to track progress in country CAADP implementation and evaluate outcomes and impacts. The Rwanda SAKSS established in April 2010 is a case in point. This country SAKSS node is housed in the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) under the supervision of the Permanent Secretary.  The primary function of the Rwanda SAKSS node is to generate, compile, and share analyses, data and other knowledge products relevant to Rwanda’s agricultural and rural development in line with the objectives of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) and Strategic Plan for Agricultural Transformation (PSTA). This is carried out by working closely with a network of Rwandese data providers and users, international researchers, and other stakeholders on agriculture and rural development as well as with ReSAKSS-ECA.  Like the Rwanda SAKSS node, all CAADP implementing countries should strive to arrive at a set up that allows them to systematically: (i) mobilize and link existing centers of knowledge products to guide CAADP implementation; (ii) channel findings and other technical information to decision-makers in and outside government; and (iii) sustainably build knowledge management capacities in the country. Therefore, countries that are ready to set up a SAKSS should link up with their respective ReSAKSS teams (please visit http://www.resakss.org/ for contact information).

As the meeting of the 7th CAADP Partnership Platform approaches (to be held in early 2011), be on the lookout for the 2010 CAADP M&E Report, which will feature progress in CAADP implementation and the achievement of various targets, including the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG1), at least six percent annual agriculture sector growth, and allocation of 10 percent of national budget resources to the agriculture sector.  Given theoretical and empirical evidence that the role of agriculture in the economy is closely related to a country’s stage of development, we include in this M&E report analysis of countries by different agricultural potentials and alternative sources of growth, in addition to the regular regional geographic aggregation-based analysis.

 As always, please visit resakss.org for data, tools, and other knowledge products to guide CAADP implementation and our blog at https://resakss.wordpress.com for regular updates on CAADP implementation.

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