The Common Africa Agro-Parks submitted as a Flagship Program for Agenda 2063

The African Union Commission – Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (DARBE) and Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining (ETIM) – , the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and the Africa Export, Import Bank (Afrexim bank) hosted a successful investor round table on the Common Africa Agro-Parks (CAAPs) Initiative at the African Union Commission (AUC) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 17th February 2023, after a CAAPs Steering committee held on the 16th February.

The event was convened in collaboration with key partners such as Africa Development Bank, AUDA-NEPAD, UNIDO, Pan Africa Farmer Organization, UNECA, Africa Business Council, PAAAC, IFPRI, FAO, and the private sector and held alongside the ongoing 36th Ordinary Session of the Africa Union.

Bringing together key industry leaders, the event was co-chaired by the commissioner of Economic Development, Trade, Industry, and Mining, to discuss the transformation of Africa’s Agriculture while boosting integration and industrialization of the continent through the implementation of the Common African Agricultural Parks (CAAPs). The discussions were enshrined in the June 2014 Malabo Declaration of the AU Heads of State on collective action leading towards tripling Intra-African trade for agricultural commodities and services.

H.E. Commissioner Josefa Sacko affirmed the need for Public-Private-Partnership (PPP)-driven financing options and joint governance of the CAAPs. The joint governance will constitute a critical step in mainstreaming the private sector perspectives in the design of the CAAPs partnerships arrangements, which shall culminate in a leading role to the private sector in the agro-industrialization of Africa. Likewise, H.E. Commissioner Albert M. Muchanga reinforced that Africa should be a net exporter. Thus we should ensure that the initiative starts generating results for Africa as a self-reliant continent.

Over the course of the 2-day event, delegates engaged in a productive discussion to sensitize PPPs on the CAAPs as an effective tool to boost agriculture. Additionally, the participants gathered feedback on how best to continue PPP engagement and obtain pledges from partners to support the implementation of the CAAPs. Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, the Executive Director of FARA, asserted that we need to evade the bureaucratic inertia that may be hit if we do not move the continent to the next level. On the other hand, Mr. Mansur Ahmed, the Executive Director, Stakeholder Management and Corporate Communications at Dangote, alluded that we need to promote action that will make the agricultural industry competitive, with a clear pathway to create hubs that will create sustainable linkages.

The event marked an important milestone for the Steering Committee of the CAAPs to endorse CAAPs for consideration as a flagship program of Agenda 2063. “The importance of the continent to boost production and processing is high. We stand ready to work with the member states and members of the Steering Committee to drive the process,” said H.E Nardos Bekele-Thomas, the commissioner for AUDA-NEPAD. Also, Mr. Themba Khumalo, Senior Advisor to the Secretary General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, confirmed that the AfCFTA secretariat is thrilled to join this partnership since the CAAPs will help deliver on the strategies to drive regional processes for boosting intra-Africa agricultural trade.

Dr. Beth Dunford, the Vice President of the African Development Bank’s Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, also confirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting the CAAPs implementation in collaboration with the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones programme.

The 2-day event ended with the singing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the African Union Commission, Afreximbank, and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, the key drivers of the CAAPs.


For more information about the Common Africa Agro-Parks, please visit




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