> Summary record
The current food situation in the Sahel is particularly worrying due to a poor 2011-2012 agricultural campaign in some areas, resulting in high food prices and increased household vulnerability. The massive influx of internally displaced people and refugees in vulnerable zones, resulting from the conflict in Mali and already affecting around 206 000 people (OCHA, 22 March 2012), worsens food insecurity not only in Mali but also in neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. Appropriate measures must be taken and implemented quickly to respond to this food crisis which is expanding quickly to other countries, such as The Gambia. It is likely that this food crisis will deteriorate during the dry season.
- Examine the final results of the 2011/2012 agricultural campaign and exchange on the current and future food and nutrition situation in the Sahel and West Africa;
- Propose emergency measures and recommendations to better respond to the food crisis in the Sahel;
- Adopt a set of instruments for the implementation of the Charter for Food Crisis Prevention and Management.
The RPCA brought together West Africa’s main food security actors, including representatives from development co-operation agencies of OECD member countries, West African states, regional and international organisations, early warning programmes and information systems, farmers' and agricultural producers' organisations, specialised NGOs and other civil society actors.
Among the West African high-level participants:
Dr. Lapodini Marc Atouga, ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources
Prior to his current position at ECOWAS held since March 2012, Dr. Lapodini Marc Atouga has been in many positions in regional organisations, including former UEMOA Director of Agriculture where he supported the development of the UEMOA Common Agricultural Policy. He has also been a senior agricultural advisor at the United Nations Office for Project Services and a senior expert at the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC). He led several USAID projects in Cameroon and Senegal, and was project auditor at the Regional Inspector General’s office for West and Central Africa. In his home country of Togo, he has worked for the International Labour Organisation as a National Co-ordinator for rural development projects. He is a specialist in Agricultural Economics and Natural Resource Management and holds a PhD in agriculture from Texas Tech University at Lubbock (USA).
Mr. Ibrahima Diémé, UEMOA Commissioner for Rural Development, Natural Resources and the Environment
A citizen of Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Ibrahim Dieme was appointed Commissioner in September 2011. His portfolio at UEMOA is quite large; he supervises and co-ordinates policy strategies in the following fields: agriculture and breeding; fisheries and forestry; food security; water management; the fight against desertification and coastal erosion; improvement of rural and urban environments; promotion of renewable energies. Mr. Dieme has been involved in the Club’s work on various occasions. In particular, he attended the SWAC’s 2011 Forum on “West Africa and Brazil: addressing renewable energy challenges”, the SWAC’s Strategy and Policy Group meeting (SPG) and the 27th RPCA Annual Meeting held in December 2011 in Praia, Cape Verde.
Prof. Alhousseini Bretaudeau, Executive Secretary of the CILSS
Professor Alhousseini Bretaudeau was nominated Executive Secretary of the CILSS in 2007 and re-elected in 2010. Building on long-established ties between CILSS and SWAC, Prof. Bretaudeau has been involved in much of SWAC’s work related to food security issues. In order to encourage research in the field of agronomy within Mali, he founded the Katibougou Polytechnic Institute Laboratory for Agro-physiological Genetics and Plant Biotechnology. He also worked at the Katibougou Rural Polytechnic Training Institute as a Professor of agronomy-phytotechnology, genetics and biotechnology. He holds a PhD in agronomy from the Languedoc University of Science and Technology and an additional degree in agronomy from the University of Montpellier.