The continentally and globally acknowledged performances—and expertise—of the OCP group have emboldened Morocco in its desire to take the driver’s seat on sustainability issues in Africa.
Rabat – As Morocco assertively positions itself in the small circle of countries hailed for their evident determination to confront the global climate crisis, the North African country is leading an African coalition for “smart climate” and sustainable agriculture.
Weeks ahead of the COP 25 in Spain, the AAA (Adapting African Agriculture), as the coalition calls it itself, is advocating for more integrated continental policies to promote “smart climate” initiative across Africa.
Launched in 2016 at the request of Morocco, the country that organized the COP 22 meeting that year, AAA styles itself as a thinking laboratory for climate-friendliness and sustainability in African projects, as well as a link between African government stakeholders (governments and private institutions) and their international peers in the world of smart climate and sustainable agriculture.
“We are especially interested in establishing a link between the climate and the agriculture worlds,” AAA director Abir Lemseffer told AFP at a two day meeting that her group organized from November 4 at the campus of the OCP-owned Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir.
An essential part of AAA’s struggle is to give a prominent spot to Africa’s sustainable climate and agriculture agenda at international climate-related gatherings and negotiations.
The group so far boasts the support and contribution of 35 African countries, more than half of the continent’s 54 states.
Chad, Somalia, and Tunisia joined the continental effort on Tuesday. Two of these three new member states—Chad and Somalia—are first hand witnesses to, or primary victims of, the increasing climate degradation hitting the continent, especially in the Sahel and Horn of Africa subcontinents.
AAA meetings typically take place “every year in prelude to a COP gathering,” director Lemseffer noted in her AFP interview. Meanwhile, weeks ahead of the Madrid-bound COP 25 meeting on December 2-13, the 35-country union is increasingly attracting the attention it sought in the first place.
At its Benguerir meeting earlier this week, AAA was congratulated by both the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), with the two financial institutions vowing to throw their investing weight behind the group’s advocacy for more sustainable and smart agriculture in the African continent.
The World Bank expressed its readiness to accompany the efforts by investing $2 billion in smart-agriculture in 11 of the AAA countries across Africa. For its part, BAD said it would cooperate with AAA to “support a sustainable transformation of agriculture in Africa.”
According to the AAA director, the group’s call for “smart” continental actions comes at a particularly challenging time for African agriculture.
While over 200 million Africans are currently reported to be under-nourished, she pointed out, the continental agricultural output is set to decline by 20% in the next three decades. The dire projections call for robust continental actions, if the continent is to rise to the defining challenge of feeding its growing populations.
In the meantime, Morocco, armed with its OCP group, is keen on leading the continental push towards smart, sustainable, and efficient agriculture.