The Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) was established with the objectives of promoting agricultural and rural development and ensuring food security for Africans, and achieving sustainable development and improved livelihoods for the population, and ensuring effective protection and development of the African environment underpinned by sound environmental and natural resources management including disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change. It has the following vision and mission statements.
AUC-DREA’s Vision is:
“A transformed African agriculture with diverse and sound environment that provides the basis for continental sustainable growth and prosperity, food security and poverty reduction, reinforced by prudent management of the natural resources including proactive responses to climate change”
AUC-DREA’s Mission is:
“To work with Member States, RECs, African Institutions, Parliamentarians, Traditional and Religious Leaders, Women, Youth and Children, Academia, Researchers, Civil Society Groups, Private Sector and Development Partners to strengthen the agricultural sector, rural economies and the environment in order to improve the livelihoods of the African people and ensure poverty eradication”
The Commissioner responsible for rural economy and agriculture represents the department and provides overall leadership, while the Director provides management oversight and coordinates the activities and resources organized under three divisions and six regional technical agencies. The three Divisions are: Agriculture and Food Security; Environment and Natural Resources; and Rural Economy. The Divisions are led by Heads of Division and staffed with Senior Policy Officers, Policy Officers and support staff.
AUC-DREA’s regional technical agencies, located in various regions of Africa, address specialized issues and needs of Africa. These agencies are: the Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR) based in Nairobi, Kenya; the Inter African Phyto-Sanitary Council (IAPSC) based in Yaoundé, Cameroon; the Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre (PANVAC) based in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia; the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Control and Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) based at the AUC in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; the Semiarid Food Grain Research and Development (SAFGRAD) based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; and the Fouta Djallon Highlands Integrated Natural Resources Project (FDH) based in Conakry, Guinea. In addition, linked to the Department are two specialized projects, the African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) and the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) both linked to the Division of Environment and Natural Resources.
AUC-DREA and its regional technical agencies provide the needed political leadership; facilitate policy coherence, harmonization and coordination required in addressing the challenges related to agriculture, rural development, environment and natural resources. Together with the NEPAD Agency, RECs, Member States, and other key institutions, it strives to address the strategic issues by capitalizing on the opportunities and developments toward achieving AU’s goals for its Member States.