“….Other counties in Northern Kenya instead of going to Israel to learn the best practices on food security, they should visit Mandera County to have first hand information and also for practical lesson as well..”
Ten years ago, at the African Union (AU) summit in Maputo, Mozambique, “African leaders made a bold commitment to reverse the under-investment that had held back the sector for so long, pledging to allocate at least 10% of national budgets to agriculture, to adopt sound agricultural development policies and to achieve at least 6% agricultural growth. Governments developed country-specific plans through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)”. However, progress on the Maputo targets has been mixed, with many countries falling short on their promises. With factors such as corruption, under-funding, poor infrastructure, absence of private/public sector investment, market inaccessibility, lack proper accountability and tracking mechanisms undermined the realization of Maputo commitment.
Here comes another round of commitment, again in July 2014 the AU will celebrate the Year of Agriculture and Food Security at the AU summit in Equatorial Guinea, and we expect more commitments, more signatures and more talks during the summit and no walks after the summit. African leaders must undertake a comprehensive review of policy framework, and revitalize the Maputo Declaration and forge ahead new policy commitments for the next ten years of African agriculture- Together we can change the image of the continent.
In August, 27 2010, Kenya ushered in a new constitution, with different approaches to development under the auspices of devolution. The overall objective of devolution was to give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them; to recognize the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development and also to protect and promote the interests and rights of minorities and marginalized communities- This was enough to convince me to vote for the new constitution during the referendum.
The responsibility for escaping from hunger and poverty rests first and foremost with the individuals themselves, and then with their families, communities and governments. Under international human rights legislation, governments have an obligation, when private action fails, to ensure that people can enjoy their right to adequate food. To get out of this, we need to invest in agriculture and it’s the only solution to the recent crisis such as drought, climate change, resource based conflicts and increase in food price. The governors from the seven Northern Kenya counties – G7 (Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu and Turkana) we need your commitment to invest 10% of the county funds to agriculture. I must thank governor of Mandera County, His Excellency Ali Ibrahim Roba for his bold commitment in ending food insecurity in his county and others should follow as well, and instead of going to Israel all roads should lead to Mandera County for guidance on food security- This has well justified the county Members’ recent trip to Israel, was indeed value for money.
At the dawn of the 50 years of independence as a nation, we are still a long way from achieving what has eluded humanity for thousands of years, a country free from hunger and poverty. The war on hunger and poverty cannot be won over a cup of coffee or in boardroom discussion. It needs a collective responsibility and a wider consultations with the Private sector investment group, participation of civil society, a Far-reaching partnerships, broader consultation in the formulation and implementation of county-driven development processes and long-term commitments both financial and human capital , must be made and maintained. In order for development efforts to be successful, there must be a clear checks and balances to walk the talks from the boardroom to the farm field.
Ending hunger and achieving food and nutrition security for the people of Northern Kenya is a pressing issue that cannot wait any longer. Your Excellencies G7 we need your commitments and actions – Now.
Mr. Abdikarim Mohamed Sadiq,
A consultant with Humanitarian Organization,
PhD (Strategic management) student.