At the High-level forum Africa-Europe 2018, the Task Force Rural Africa presented its recommendations for sustainable development and job creation in rural Africa. Established to advise on how best to develop Africa’s agriculture and food sectors and its rural economy, the Task Force proposed to improve access to private finance for small and medium size agriculture and food businesses and to mainstream environmental sustainability and promote climate action, among other recommendations.
Launched in May 2018, the Task Force consists of 11 members appointed in a personal capacity, with expertise and experience in agriculture, agri-business or agroindustry, trade, development policy or migration related issues and first-hand knowledge of the agri-food sector in Africa. Meeting regularly from the launch to early December 2018, the group of experts focused on sustainability, and jobs and income creation in the African agri-food sector, taking into account the continent’s rapidly increasing labour force.
The Task Force’s central recommendation is to implement an innovative Africa-Europe partnership for the inclusive and sustainable development of African agriculture, its agri-food sector and rural economy. This partnership would operate on three levels: people-to-people, business-to-business, and government to government.
Within this partnership, four priority strategic areas for action were defined:
Under these four priority strategic areas, the Task Force proposes six recommendations to the European Commission for short to medium term action, and to discuss, support and implement with their African partners. These include:
These recommendations, based on an innovative Africa-Europe partnership, can be situated in the wider context of the new Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs. This new Alliance, announced by President Juncker in September 2018, aims to deepen the EU’s economic and trade partnership with Africa through investment and job creation.