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Time for Climate-aware, Trade-driven and Food Security-enhancing Agro-industry policies

This regional meeting reviewed ongoing and upcoming policy efforts geared towards making agro-processing more climate-aware, trade-driven and food security enhancing in East Africa. Two years into the PACT EAC2 project, stakeholders in five countries are engaging policy makers through advocacy campaigns, whose lessons will soon be captured in research studies. Besides sharing good practices and policy options, regional experts were briefed on the status of current multilateral trade and climate negotiations, where important international conferences will take place this year.

Kigali, Rwanda

Climate, Food, Trade: Time for Sustainable National Industrial Policies

Over the coming months, advocacy in the five EAC countries will engage policy makers towards making specific agro-industry policies more climate-aware, trade driven and food security-enhancing. These include: (i) Burundi’s new Industrial Policy, through devising its implementation strategy; (ii) Buy Kenya, Build Kenya Policy; (iii) Implementation of Rwanda’s Industrial Policy, through launching a National Agro-processors’ Forum (NAPF); (iv) Revision of Tanzania’s Sustainable Industries Development Policy (SIDP); (v) Uganda’s National Industrial Policy. In this session, country coordinators discussed policy improvements they are advocating for, and how upcoming research will help identify practical policy options in this regard.

Regional Industrialisation: What Synergies with Climate, Food, and Trade?

Agro-processing development has been earmarked as a key regional priority, including in the EAC Industrialisation Policy. But with the multi-pronged challenges facing East Africa, regional interventions to achieve industrialisation objectives will need to be at the same time climate-aware, trade-driven and food security enhancing. After reviewing upcoming regional interventions on agro-processing, this session discussed relevant climate, trade and food security aspects which should be considered in their implementation. Recommendations will help the project devise a regional advocacy campaign next year.

Policy Options: Trade and Climate-resilient Measures to Promote Agro-industry

Among its key industrialisation objectives, East Africa aims to expand trade in manufactured products both regionally and with the rest of the world. By 2032, at least 60% of the region’s exports should be in industrial goods, including agro-processed products. Achieving such an ambitious goal will require upscaling regional agro-industries, where trade itself has an important role to play. In addition, East African agriculture remains heavily dependent on weather conditions, whose variations could severely affect the productive capacity of agro-processing industries if not addressed timely and appropriately. Climate-resilient agro-industrial development can help prepare national industries to adapt to the impacts of climate change, while contributing the least possible to it. During this session, experts from the region shareed views and policy options for different types of trade and climate policy measures which governments can leverage to promote their agro-industries.

What is at Stake at this Year’s WTO Ministerial?

For agro-processing to grow into a job-generating industry, trade policies should help ensure the availability of inputs despite climate change, markets for the processed products and access to cleaner technologies. The role of international trade negotiations in framing the policy space for such policies should not be overlooked. In particular, stakeholders on the ground and their East African negotiators to the World Trade Organization (WTO) should maintain regular information exchange. During this session, delegates and experts on WTO issues briefed participants about their current work in WTO negotiations towards this year’s Ministerial Conference to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

COP23 and Beyond: Opportunities for Promoting Agro-processing

Much as trade negotiations frame trade policy, climate talks at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) influence what is in your country’s emergency kit to cope with climate change and its effects on agriculture. Here, climate negotiators briefed participants about their preparations and East Africa’s main interests towards this year’s COP23 scheduled this November in Bonn, Germany.

What’s Next for PACT EAC2?

Since its inception, the PACT EAC2 project has kept stakeholders closely involved in the implementation of activities designed for them, by them. In this session, highlights for next year were presented, with particular focus on how the project will further promote stakeholder’s awareness and collaboration, support negotiations, and champion policy changes towards mainstreaming climate change, food security and trade aspects into agro-processing development. The session was also an opportunity to bring in opportunities and perspectives from beyond the region and immediate focus of the project to possibly increase the reach and the impact.