At the European Development Days (EDDs) in Brussels, on 7 June 2017, a joint statement committing to the new European Consensus on Development was officially signed by the European Union and its Member States. The Consensus lays out the core principles that will direct the EU and its member states’ approach and cooperation with developing countries in achieving the 2030 sustainable development agenda.
An overarching aim to eradicate poverty lies at the heart of the Consensus. Much like the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agriculture plays a key role in achieving this objective; not only in terms of ending hunger, but also in creating jobs for young people, empowering women, building climate resilience and ensuring sustainable use of natural resources. CTA's work and its strategic priorities—promoting inclusive value chains, youth entrepreneurship, ICTs and climate smart agriculture--are very well aligned with the new Consensus.
Ultimately the new European Consensus on Development is intended to respond to current demographic, economic, social and environmental global challenges by strengthening resilience on local, national and international levels. CTA is working to improve the resilience of rural communities in ACP regions, particularly in adapting to the changing climate, through initiatives such its flagship projects in Eastern and Southern Africa to encourage smallholder farmers to adopt climate smart agriculture (CSA) solutions. The effectiveness of this project is underpinned by strategic partnerships to support the incorporation and up-scaling of technical CSA solutions. CTA is committed to working with key stakeholders and organisations to achieve greater impact, a principle that is fundamental to the implementation of the EU Consensus on Development, which seeks to promote joint programming and coordinated actions.
CTA director Michael Hailu, who was also recently interviewed after EDD, reiterated that CTA's strategy is to contribute to the transformation of agriculture as a vibrant and modern enterprise that will attract and provide decent jobs and income for young people. In line with this approach, CTA has been running several successful programmes to stimulate youth entrepreneurship and employment in agriculture, including the Pitch AgriHack initiative to generate investment and exposure for agribusinesses start-ups. Through such initiatives, young people in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific are encouraged to engage in agriculture and create jobs for themselves and others.