In a bid to support the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP) the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission has entered into a €20 million agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD) to ensure actualization.

The agreement bothering on two new financing memorandum of understanding was signed on May 29 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria to cushion the effect of low food production resulting in hunger and poverty in the region.

Commending the gesture, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar TOURAY said such technical and financial support is for the implementation of the ECOWAS agricultural policy (ECOWAP), the creation and implementation of the regional energy market, the health sector, and the development of the activities of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).

Adding that the AFD Group has over the past 10 years given a total of €135 million including €75 million of delegated European funds to implement regional projects and programs aimed at addressing critical issues such as vulnerabilities and crises affecting the region with the inclusion of (food security, livestock, and transhumance conflicts, Sanitary and phytosanitary, climate-smart Agriculture and sustainable agriculture).

“This financing is dedicated to the implementation of two projects, respectively, the €11 million Support to the “Local Milk Regional Strategy” aiming at developing local dairy value chains in West Africa; and the €9 million Support to the West African Food Security Storage Strategy, increasing to €17 million the total amount of French support for this critical project. This additional funding is crucial in the context of a worsening food crisis in the region.

“The projects implementation will be performed by the ECOWAS Commission, through its Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF). “The project activities will be carried out in the ECOWAS region extended to Chad, Mauritania, and Cameroon.

Responding, the French Minister of State for Development Chrysoula Zacharopoulou,

Said the initiative is to contribute to ECOWAP’s priority on food sovereignty which is in line with France’s objectives to support in Africa.

“This support from the French Development Agency, AFD, is part of our collective efforts to strengthen the regional response to food security and nutrition challenges, as well as fostering economic and social development in the region.”

The signing was witnessed by the Ambassador of France to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Emmanuelle Blatmann, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray the President of the ECOWAS Commission, and Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, the French Minister of State for Development, Francophonie, and International Partnerships.

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