The Gambian-born Mr. Ernest Reuben Aubee, has solicited the votes of African Union members for the position of Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Development in African Union.
Aubee, with over 30 years of experience in agriculture and food at the grassroots, national, regional and continental levels, is among the remaining three contenders for the position.
In his priority action plans for the realization of his mandate, Aubee pledged his commitment to ensuring food and nutrition security, harnessing potentials of the blue economy and providing safe and sustainable environment for Africa.
“My vision is to contribute to the realization of the seven aspirations of Agenda 2063 in which food and nutrition security is guaranteed”, he said.
If voted as the commissioner in the exercise that takes place at the end of January, Aubee, who spent has put over 10 years in the Agric department of ECOWAS Commission equally promised to ensure that rural livelihoods are transformed while blue economy is made a driver for increased economic wellbeing and prosperity of African people.
To achieve this, Aubee assured of institutionalizing a strong and strategic leadership in the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment of the union through policy coherence and synergy between AU member states, regional economic communities, development partners and all stakeholders in the various agriculture value chains.
Other strategies towards achieving his set objectives include ensuring policy coherence between the Agenda 2063, Maputo and Malabo Declarations on agricultural development, regional as well as national agricultural investment plans for the implementation of Africa’s agriculture agenda.
Aubee also promised to ensure a better coordination and implementation of continental agriculture and nutrition policies and programmes among key African Institutions.
Other plans include, rationalization of AU Agriculture Institutions for efficient service delivery, establishing Africa Food Safety Authority as a one stop shop for all food safety matters and resource mobilization to boost agricultural development.
Describing sustainable environment as a common goal for all Africans, Aubee plans to set up a multi-disciplinary working group that would develop a Blue Economy Strategic Framework and prepare a road map for the development of the sector in line with Agenda 2063 and consonancewithAgenda2063 and Maritime Strategy 2050.
In voted into office, Aubee expressed commitment towards addressing the issue of overfishing, pollution and climate change.
As part of his campaign manifesto, he pledged to promote biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration of both land and marine resources.
For rural development through agriculture, the AU candidate believed in his ability to influence AU member states towards increased investment in rural areas.
“I will target rural development programmes that are pro-poor and target the most vulnerable such as women, youths and the physically challenged as well as ensure a nexus between research and innovations”, he added.
As the contest enters the final round, Aubee is optimistic about the recruitment process that began in July 2020.
“To the glory of God, I have been pre-qualified for the final contest after a keenly contested interview process by a panel of eminent Africans. We are moving towards the end of the process by the end of January and February. I seek your continued prayers and support.”