Nigerian singer-songwriter D’banj was on hand for the kick-off event in Addis Ababa today. The ONE Campaign today released a new report and launched Do Agric, It Pays, a campaign calling for African governments to commit to spending at least 10% of national budgets on effective agriculture investments, through transparent and accountable budgets.
At the heart of the Do Agric campaign is an effort to push political leaders to adopt better policies that will boost productivity, increase incomes and help lift millions of Africans out of extreme poverty.
Civil society partners at the launch included the Pan African Farmers Association (PAFO), ActionAid International, Acord International, Oxfam, East and Southern African Farmers Forum , ROPPA, Southern African Confederation of Agriculture Unions, the Africa Union Commission, Becho Welisho and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Campaign champions include Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Beninois President Dr. Thomas Yayi Boni and Côte d’Ivoirefootballer Yaya Touré, with Touré starring in a new ONE PSA, which debuted today on one.org/doagric.
The launch of Do Agric in Addis Ababa coincides with the 2014 January African Union (AU) summit, where heads of state have gathered to discuss key development challenges across the continent. The AU has declared 2014 the Year of Agriculture in Africa.
D’banj said, “There are massive untapped business opportunities in agriculture that could create jobs for millions of Africans on and off the farm. I want Africans to know that farming is not only the foundation of the economy, but also that farming is cool. I believe that, if the needed attention is given to agriculture, we Africans will not only feed ourselves, but also the rest of the world.”
“While other African leaders have made statements of good will, currently only eight countries have kept their promise to invest 10% of their national budgets in agriculture. It is therefore essential to do more, to go further. Agriculture is not only important, it is also vital. Agriculture pays,” said Yaya Touré.