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Spreading the word about the Common Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)

Communications workshop held in Zambia
13 Dec 2013, Zambia

28 food security professionals from 12 countries in Africa met in Siavonga, Zambia to improve their communication skills and learn more about CAADP and food security issues in the region. The workshop, which took place from 2-13 December 2013, was organized by FAO and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA). Participants also visited a large commercial farm (ZAMBEEF).

> Press coverage of visit to Zambeef

What is the Common Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and why is it important?

CAADP aims at eliminating hunger and reducing poverty through agriculture led development. It is an Africa owned and Africa led initiative which seeks to boost agricultural productivity . It is important to note that CAADP is not a programme per se but provides a framework that guides investment and the implementation of programmes in the agricultural sector.

Over 32 countries have signed CAADP compacts and have committed to devoting at least 10% of their budgets to agricultural development and increasing productivity by 6% annually.

CAADP country compacts can be found at:

Opportunities for improving communications about CAADP

In his presentation, Dr Ken Shawa, a policy analyst from COMESA, mentioned that “CAADP is just known by experts while farmers who should be the beneficiaries, know nothing about it.” Indeed, there is a great need to reach out not only to policy makers, but to farmers, the private sector, civil society groups, religious leaders and tracers and extension workers. The benefits of CAADP that need to be communicated to various groups include : gaining access to funding; putting agriculture back at the centre of the development agenda; and more focused agricultural investments and programmes.

Participants thus learned to identify key audiences in their countries and prepare targeted messages that clearly showed the benefits of engaging with CAADP. They also learned to prepare a wide variety of communication products ranging from press releases to videos and policy briefs.

An experiential workshop 

During the workshop, participants learned to use a wide variety of facilitation techniques and knowledge sharing tools such as the:

  • Livelihood Based Participatory Analysis (LIPA)
  • World Café
  • Elevator speech
  • Card Collection and Clustering
  • Role playing
  • Market Place
  • Video  
  • Expert interviews
  • Blogging

Indeed, not only did participants enjoy the workshop they also learned much from each other thanks to the rich dialogues stimulated by these techniques. Many people said they would reuse these techniques in future meetings and workshops.

More about the workshop

Workshop modules included:

  • Introduction to food security and nutrition and the CAADP process
  • Preparing a communication strategy
  • Working with the media and using audio visual techniques
  • Communicating with policy makers and writing policy briefs
  • Effective presentations and meetings

The workshop was facilitated by Ms Denise Melvin (Communications, FAO), Mr Cephas Moonga (Communications, COMESA), Professor Sheryl Hendriks (Food Security, University of Pretoria), and Mr Sampa Kalungu (Facilitation and Knowledge Sharing, Talent Africa). Opening speeches were given by Hon Greyford Monde, MP, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Zambia, Mr Mtendere Mphatso (FAO - Zambia) and Dr Nalishebo Mebeelo (COMESA). The workshop was officially closed by Dr Sam Kanyarukiga (COMESA).

A workshop report will soon be posted on this website.

The “Improved Global Governance for Hunger Reduction” programme is funded by the European Union with additional resources provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The programme is managed by FAO and collaborates with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP)”