This regional meeting reviewed ongoing and upcoming national and regional policy efforts geared towards making agro-processing more climate-aware, trade-driven and food security enhancing in East Africa. Three years into the PACT EAC2 project, stakeholders in all the five countries are engaging policy makers through advocacy campaigns, at both national and regional levels. Besides sharing some efforts and early success in terms of holistic policy revision and implementation, regional stakeholders were briefed on the status of current multilateral trade and climate negotiations, and undertook a scenario-planning exercise to discuss ins and outs of a 2030 sustainable agro-industry for the region.
TOWARDS MORE HOLISTIC AGRO-INDUSTRIAL POLICIES IN THE EAC REGION
Over the past year, advocacy campaigns in the five EAC countries have engaged policy makers towards making specific agro-industry policies more climate-aware, trade driven and food security-enhancing. In this session chaired by Hon. Flavia Nabugere Munaaba, policy-makers at the forefront of the policy revision in their countries shared updates, reflecting on the successes and the challenges, and what remains to be done under the following policy processes: (i) Burundi’s new Industrial Policy; (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); and (v) Uganda’s National Industrial Policy (NIDP).
CONTRIBUTING TO EAC PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (2018-22) DEVELOPMENT
This session focused on discussing the upcoming development of the EAC Private Sector Development Strategy (PSDS) 2018-2022, which aims to create a conducive business environment that facilitates private sector competitiveness for increased investment, productivity and trade. The session reviews the policy calendar, and presented five national declarations adopted by project stakeholders as inputs to ensure the new PSDS contributes to climate-aware, trade-driven and food security-enhancing agro-processing.
PROMOTING A SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE: STATE OF PLAY & OPPORTUNITIES AT THE WTO & UNFCCC
International trade and climate change negotiations play an important role in framing the policy space available to governments in developing their agriculture and agro-processing sectors despite climate change. In this session, East African trade and climate change negotiators discussed key issues at the interplay of the two negotiating fora, as well as explored ways to achieve more coordinated positions across trade and climate change negotiations which are increasingly interlinked.
For instance, while agriculture is now formally on the agenda of UNFCCC negotiations, it has long been a key issue at the WTO. In fact, agriculture discussions and negotiations at UNFCCC and the WTO have many overlaps and synergies. For example, agricultural subsidies, the most sensitive of issues at the WTO, can be relevant for UNFCCC discussions both on adaptation and mitigation. Similarly, UNFCCC discussions related to food security have links with the WTO.
TOWARDS A PRO-DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINABLE EAST AFRICAN AGRO-INDUSTRY BY 2030?
As the PACT EAC2 project will start its last implementation year, this session was the occasion different stakeholders to reflect on the current state and future opportunities of the East African agro-industrial sector. Different focus groups discussed how, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the agro-industrial sector can be sustainably leveraged in the next decade, focusing on one of the following issues: (i) Employment; (ii) Technology; (iii) Women and Youth; (iv) Food Security; (v) Trade; (vi) Climate Change. Going through a set of questions, each focus undertook a scenario-planning exercise on the needs and the challenges to be overcome in the given area to achieve a sustainable agro-processing sector by 2030 in the region.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR PACT EAC2 AND BEYOND?
Since its inception, the PACT EAC2 project has kept its stakeholders closely involved in the implementation of activities designed for them, by them. In this session, highlights for the 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 occasion to present a summary of the progress that has been made towards achieving the project objectives and how this can be sustained and built upon in the years to come.