Frequently Asked Questions

What is the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition?

The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a shared commitment by African governments, development partners and private sector companies to achieve sustained, inclusive agriculture-led growth to lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2022. Click here to learn more.

How does it work?

Under the New Alliance, African governments, development partners, the African and global private sector, and farmers’ organizations agree to a set of concrete actions and commitments, including policy reforms, multi-year funding commitments, and responsible investments, aimed at establishing an enabling environment for investment and accelerating agriculture-sector growth.

These commitments are captured in New Alliance Cooperation Frameworks for each country. The implementation of Cooperation Frameworks is supported by a package of Enabling Actions aimed at improving nutrition, mobilizing capital, improving access to new technology, and managing risk, focusing on smallholder farmers.

Dialogue and consultation with civil society and farmers’ organizations is strongly encouraged to strengthen accountability and advocate for effective public policy to advance New Alliance principles and goals. Three African farmers’ organizations and one civil society organization are members of the Leadership Council to ensure their perspective and input is part of high-level discussions on key issues.

Parties involved in the creation of Cooperation Frameworks are held mutually accountable for their commitments and participate in a country-level annual review process, increasingly as part of annual CAADP Agriculture Joint Sector Reviews of progress against National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans. A publicly available New Alliance Progress Report is published once a year.

Who is participating in the New Alliance?

The New Alliance is a broad partnership that brings together the capacities and interests of diverse stakeholders, including African governments and institutions, development partners, the private sector, civil society, and other research and non-governmental partners to address key constraints to inclusive, agriculture-led growth in Africa. Learn more about who’s involved in the Partners section of this website.

Which African countries are involved and what are they committing?

The New Alliance initially launched in Ghana, Tanzania and Ethiopia, and has expanded rapidly to include ten African countries. These countries are participating in the Grow Africa partnership, a joint initiative with the African Union and the World Economic Forum to support the private sector component of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

These African countries have committed to major policy changes that open doors to more private sector trade and investment, such as strengthening property rights, supporting seed investments and opening trade opportunities. Development partners have identified development assistance funding aligned behind these nations’ own country investment plans for agriculture, and private sector firms have laid out investment plans in the agricultural sectors of these countries. Learn more about country-specific commitments and actions in the New Alliance Cooperation Frameworks.

What kinds of private sector companies are participating in the New Alliance?

The more than 200 companies making commitments include both large and small African and international companies—two-thirds of which are based in Africa. Most of the participating companies and associations have missions associated with agriculture or finance. Click here for a list.

What kinds of commitments have participants made?

The Cooperation Frameworks for each country list commitments made by all partners involved in the New Alliance, including a summary of private sector Letters of Intent, funding commitments by development partners, policy commitments by African governments and supporting Enabling Actions.

Does the New Alliance mean that donors will not meet their 2009 L’Aquila commitments?

No. The New Alliance builds on the G8 commitments made at L’Aquila in 2009 and represents the next phase of investment in food security and nutrition. Through Cooperation Frameworks, donors outline country-specific financial commitments that either reinforce or expand their L’Aquila commitments.

The L’Aquila effort in 2009 was critical in reversing decades of neglect of African agriculture by donors and governments. L’Aquila showed that the international community can marshal aid resources and that African countries can develop credible, comprehensive plans. But progress needs to be accelerated, which the New Alliance will do by mobilizing private capital, taking innovation to scale and managing risk.

It’s important to keep in mind that the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative was about more than just money—it was a new way of doing development. Initiative leaders agreed to put their money behind country plans that had been developed and were owned by the developing countries themselves and to increase investment in research and development, better coordinate efforts, and act both bilaterally and through multilateral institutions.

What is the connection between the New Alliance and Grow Africa?

The African Union Commission, New Partnership for Africa’s Development, and World Economic Forum established the Grow Africa partnership in 2011 to galvanize greater private investment in and financing for African agriculture in support of CAADP. The New Alliance strongly aligns with Grow Africa’s goals and builds on this platform by engaging additional development partners, reflecting commitments in Cooperation Frameworks, and addressing broad issues through Enabling Actions. In partnership with African governments, Grow Africa facilitated the development of private sector Letters of Intent in numerous New Alliance countries and tracks progress in implementing the investments outlined in the signed Letters of Intent and summarized in the Cooperation Frameworks.

What progress has the New Alliance made?

New Alliance stakeholders have committed to report annually on progress made and challenges encountered in implementing the New Alliance. Visit the Progress section of this website for the latest.

How does nutrition factor into the New Alliance?

New Alliance partners recognize the importance of nutrition and are advancing it in several ways, including through nutrition-related Enabling Actions and policy commitments.

The following Enabling Actions put a high-level emphasis on a number of commitments to advance nutrition globally:

  • Actively supporting the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement: Twenty countries, including six in the New Alliance, now have National Nutrition Plans with associated budgets, and the SUN Movement is working on a mutual accountability framework for tracking their progress.
  • Improving tracking and disbursements for nutrition across sectors: In an independent Global Nutrition Report that came out in November 2014, SUN Movement development partners reported on nutrition resources tracked through agreed-upon methodologies and definitions.
  • Supporting the accelerated release, adoption and consumption of biofortified crop varieties, crop diversification and related technologies to improve the nutritional quality of food in Africa: At the Second Global Conference on Biofortification in Kigali, Rwanda, global policymakers recommitted to making biofortified nutritious foods more widely available, and HarvestPlus announced that biofortified food crops had reached more than 1 million farmers and that it aims to reach more than 100 million people by 2018.

In addition, seven New Alliance country governments have included nutrition-related policy commitments in their Cooperation Frameworks.

How will the New Alliance ensure that partners uphold their commitments?

The Leadership Council provides a forum for mutual accountability and works to address high-level issues, but New Alliance progress ultimately depends on individual stakeholders to follow through on their commitments. Each organization making a commitment in the New Alliance is responsible for reporting on progress and challenges. Responsibility for oversight and implementation rests with African governments at the country level.

The New Alliance builds on the accountability work of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and L’Aquila Food Security Initiative, which respectively track the commitments, investments and impacts of African governments and donors. Activities and progress against New Alliance commitments will be increasingly reviewed as part of the agreed biennial Agricultural Review Process (to include CAADP Agriculture Joint Sector Reviews) endorsed by African leaders at the 2014 African Union Summit.

How does the New Alliance ensure smallholder farmers are benefitting?

The New Alliance is dedicated to promoting responsible investment and supporting African farmers and smallholders. In 2014, private investments under Letters of Intent, including those facilitated by the Grow Africa partnership, reached 8.2 million smallholders.

To participate in the New Alliance, stakeholders agree to certain tenets, which include investing responsibly to support smallholders. All parties making commitments in New Alliance Cooperation Frameworks are bound to take account of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of Food Security adopted by the Committee on World Food Security in May 2012, as well as the principles of responsible agricultural investment, which are currently under negotiation.

Through forums like the Leadership Council, civil society and farmers organizations’ have continuously provided feedback, expressing approval for advances in some areas and encouraging continued progress or course corrections in others.

Why does the New Alliance focus on Africa?

The New Alliance is working in partnership to strengthen African commitments to promote and protect food security and nutrition—articulated in multiple settings since 2003 and validated by tremendous progress made in Africa since 2009. While nearly half of the population in sub-Saharan Africa lives on less than $1.25 per day, the potential for poverty reduction and economic growth on the continent, particularly through agriculture, is impressive. Growth in agriculture and agribusiness presents an enormous opportunity for investment, currently accounting for nearly half of African gross domestic product with the possibility of growing to a $1 trillion industry in Africa by 2030. The New Alliance is combining smart assistance with leveraged private sector investments in African agriculture to benefit both resource-poor smallholder farmers and increase private sector growth.

What about land rights?

Clear, secure and negotiable rights to land and resources are essential for agricultural growth, and, are therefore, are critical to the New Alliance. When land and other governance systems effectively protect these rights, the private sector, including smallholder farmers, can better allocate its resources and make forward-looking investments in capital and other inputs because there is more confidence that it will capture the future returns from its efforts.

In the absence of strong property rights and resource governance systems, commercial investments in agriculture can lead to displacement, loss of livelihoods, and loss of access and tenure rights to land for the local population. Furthermore, conflicts over land rights cause delays or disruptions in operations, which can compound the financial risks for companies investing in commercial agriculture.

For this reason, all parties have committed in New Alliance Cooperation Frameworks to operate in a manner consistent with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security.

Land policy changes require careful, country-specific consultation and analysis to ensure investments that involve land acquisition are done in a way that respects and strengthens land rights for all groups and minimizes risk to investors. While each country is proposing policies intended to protect land rights, effectively implementing these policies will require ongoing support.

Following a commitment made by the Leadership Council in 2014, the Analytical Framework for Land-Based Investments in African Agriculture was developed, and subsequently supported, by the Leadership Council in 2015. The Framework is designed to provide investors with due diligence and risk management resources to support inclusive, sustainable, transparent and responsible land-based investments in agriculture.

Where can I find more information on the New Alliance?

This website compiles resources from the various New Alliance participants to help you learn more about the partnership, its goal, and progress. Browse the website to learn more and explore the Resources section for fact sheets, speeches, video, and other materials on the New Alliance, including the New Alliance Progress Report, published annually with an update on results.