President in Ethiopia for 22nd AU Summit
Addis Ababa, 29 January 2014 (WIC) — President Mugabe arrived here yesterday to attend the 22nd Ordinary Summit of the African Union General Assembly expected to formulate strategies to promote agricultural production and ensure food security on the continent.The summit will also assess the security situation on the continent.
President Mugabe; who was accompanied by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made and his Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development counterpart, Dr Olivia Muchena; was welcomed at Bole International Airport by senior Ethiopian government officials, ambassador to Ethiopia Andrew Mtetwa, and foreign affairs minister Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who arrived earlier.
Running under the theme "2014 Year of Agriculture and Food Security, Marking 10th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)", the summit will host a side luncheon where Zimbabwe will participate in discussions on the African World Heritage Fund.
The main plenary will consider reports on the continent's peace and security situation; fragile states and assess the African Standby Force.
It is expected to operationalise the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises. A draft African post-2015 Development Agenda position and the implementation of a resolution on Africa's relationship with the International Criminal Court are also among the key points of discussion.
On agriculture, the Heads of State and Government are expected to review progress towards meeting targets that were set when they met in Mozambique in 2003 to adopt CAADP. The programme focuses on improving food security, nutrition and reducing poverty. It has an agriculture production growth target of six percent per annum and seeks to increase public investment in the sector to 10 percent of national budgets annually.
By next year, the leaders expect to see dynamic agricultural markets within and between countries and regions. In an interview on Monday, Dr Made said Zimbabwe was already running several initiatives that feed into AU objectives of increased farming output.
He said the massive agricultural input support rolled out to 1,6 million households countrywide; the Food and Nutrition Policy as well as the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) indicated progress. (allafrica.com)
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