The achievement of the objectives of the ECOWAS Regional Agricultural Policy by 2025, ECOWAP 2025, through the Regional Agricultural Investment and Food Security and Nutrition Plan (RAIFSNP) and National Agricultural Investment and Food Security and Nutrition Plan (NAIFSNP), requires a constant reinforcement of stakeholders’ capacities with regard to the ambitions and the challenges of this Policy.
To this end, the ECOWAS Commission initiated a process for defining and implementing a Regional Strategy with a capacity building action plan for key stakeholders involved in the implementation of ECOWAP 2025. Facilitation for the development of this process was provided by Hub Rural and conducted within the framework of the project for "Capacity Building for the Implementation of ECOWAP" funded by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID). This project is implemented by FAO under the coordination of the ECOWAS Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF).
Besides, this project contributed, among others, to the formulation and implementation of the first generation of National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIP), the strengthening of the technical capacities of the Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and RAAF, the formulation of the second generation of ECOWAP 2015-2025, (NAIFSNP), etc.
At the end of this process, ECOWAS through its Agency and with the support of FAO, prepared a capacity building strategy document and submitted it to the review of all stakeholders involved in the implementation of ECOWAP 2025.
"AECID that financially supports this process is proud and satisfied with its collaboration with ECOWAS. Our partnership is strong and exemplary. We will continue, as much as possible, to support the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Agricultural Policy. It is really a pleasure for us to work with ECOWAS. We wish success to ECOWAP 2025, which is a very important policy for the development of the region", Laura Pinuela Rubio, Advisor for Regional Cooperation of AECID, Sub-Saharan Africa, says.
For the representative of the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Togo, Mr. Lamboni Damtaré Langbatibe as well as the Auditor General of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Alfred Braihima, capacity building for the implementation of ECOWAP 2025 is a priority for ECOWAS member States.
"As a matter of fact, following the Regional Agricultural Policy and the Regional and National Agricultural Investment and Food Security and Nutrition Plans, the Regional Capacity Building Strategy comes to reinforce the operational mechanism for revamping and guiding the development of the agricultural sector of our region," Mr. Lamboni explains.
"May the partnership between AECID and ECOWAS grows stronger and stronger over the years," Dr. Braihima adds.
As for Mr. Adama Taoko from FAO, he insists that "it is only the relevance and the quality of the strategy that will help the region to achieve the objectives of ECOWAP 2025 and those of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the agricultural sector "
The objective of this regional workshop organized by RAAF was to validate the regional strategy for stakeholders’ capacity building. It brought together representatives of the 15 ECOWAS member States, representatives of professional agricultural organizations, representatives of the Civil Society organizations and the private sector, representatives of regional institutions, representatives of ECOWAS and Hub Rural in Lomé, Togo, from March 23 to 24, 2018, allowed to analyze, amend and validate the Strategy and to give orientations for the first action plan.
The capacity-building strategy ultimately aims to contribute to the acceleration of growth and transformation of agriculture in West Africa for shared prosperity and better living conditions for the people of the region. Its overall objective is to contribute, in a sustainable way, to the satisfaction of the population's food needs, to economic and social development, to poverty reduction in the member States as well as reduction of inequalities between territories, zones and countries.
Specifically, this strategy aims to provide stakeholders (member States, non-State actors, regional technical cooperation institutions, regional integration institutions, platforms for dialogue and consultation) with the institutional and technical capacities necessary for the effective and efficient implementation of ECOWAP 2025.