Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture

Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture No. 1/11

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)
– An Assessment of a Pan-African Attempt to Revitalise Agriculture –

Michael Brüntrup
German Development Institute, Bonn, Germany


CAADP is an exciting change process of the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to shape African agricultural policy making and development from within the continent. CAADP covers a wide range of issues from natural resource management through agricultural production and value chains to food security. Its goals, increasing government budgets, donor and private funding, and improving the quality and the outcome of agricultural policies in all African countries, point in the right direction and come at the right time. However, it has to be noted that CAADP has not yet led to a systematic improvement of agricultural policy making – the older CAADP design was not convincing in terms of participation, ownership and use of evidence, and the new, improved design is about to be implemented. Some important elements of the existing CAADP design are still rudimentary, such as peer review or interventions of the pillar network. The overall targets – agricultural growth and poverty alleviation – are still far away from being a reality. Nevertheless, CAADP has shown that it is a learning system, and it has developed into a comprehensive concept. It must now demonstrate that it can implement its agenda. It must develop and institutionalise convincing quality control mechanisms, monitoring and evaluation, and it must coordinate the many tools and actors that it has put into motion. In case CAADP fails, there is a risk that the entire agricultural sector will once again be classified as “too complex to be managed”. Donors are therefore well advised to support it wisely, but the main impetus must come from the African agricultural community, state and non-state actors.

Vol. 50 (2011), No. 1: 79-106