Strategic vision

Building a brighter Future Today

The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of RAAF, which was officially launched in September 2013 with the mandate to coordinate and supervise the technical implementation of investment programs and plans of the agricultural policy, ECOWAP. Over this first decade of existence, thanks to the combined efforts of all stakeholders, RAAF has successfully positioned itself on the path to revitalizing the agriculture and food sectors in West Africa.

With the technical and financial support of its partners and the political leadership of the highest authorities in the region, this instrument for coordinating, supervising, facilitating, and bringing together stakeholders, has gained credibility. It has achieved significant growth in its project portfolio, regularly certified satisfactory project and program management, diversified partnerships, professionalized management of project proposals, capacity building for ECOWAP stakeholders, formulation of projects and programs, and various support to member States in implementing their national policies.

It is evident that RAAF is operational and fulfilling its mandate with dedication. Tools are in place for project and program monitoring and management. Capitalization, knowledge production, and communication/visibility are key elements of each project, aiming to scale up the achievements and lessons learned from the experience.

Acting for agriculture and food security is a collective effort that mobilizes all member States, the ECOWAS Commission, socio-professional actors including the private sector and civil society organizations, and international partners from technical cooperation organizations. However, there are still many challenges, given that the number of vulnerable people to food and nutritional insecurity in the region has risen from less than 10 million to over 42 million in less than 5 years, according to the results of the Harmonized Framework of March 2023.

With multiple crises (security, health, humanitarian, climate, environmental, and socio-political) exacerbating the state of agriculture and food, producing more, now and in the future, becomes a major imperative for West African agriculture. RAAF must go beyond its cruising speed to consolidate and amplify its achievements.

With this in mind, the main projects to be planned will have to be oriented more towards:

  • Better mobilization of internal financial resources to improve support the development of the agricultural sector based on regional priorities.
  • Scaling up innovative best practices identified in the field at the national level.
  • Synergizing with regional partners for better coordination of project and program implementation at the regional level.
  • Development and effective management of partnerships.
  • Improved targeting of priority themes for financing and support.
  • Clear distinction between the functions of delegation and action
  • Improved organization of knowledge management.
  • Increased human resources, particularly for cross-cutting services (procurement, communication, accounting, monitoring and evaluation, etc.) and coordination through contributions from projects and ECOWAS's own resources.

Today, RAAF remains the focal point for agricultural, pastoral, and fisheries development in the region. For the next decade, feeding West Africa requires RAAF to continuously earn the trust of partners and strengthen the resilience of West African populations in agriculture and food matters.