SWAC News - January 2014



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SWAW 2013

The 2013 Sahel and West Africa Week

Abidjan, 25-29 November 2013

Some 350 African leaders and international partners, including Ivoirian Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva and former President of Burundi Pierre Buyoya, as well as many other high-level officials and representatives of the research community and civil society gathered in Abidjan for the 2013 Sahel and West Africa Week. The Week provided a platform for information-sharing and networking between West African leaders and their North African and international partners active in the region. > find out more | > images


Director’s Editorial: You made the Week, - thank you all!

“The 2013 edition of the Sahel and West Africa Week ended on 29 November in Abidjan after five days of hard work. The Week was made an outstanding success by the presence of a large diversity of actors - ministers, entrepreneurs, farmers and livestock breeders, high-level representatives of regional organisations and development co-operation agencies, researchers, local officials, and civil society leaders. The Week was, in fact, their success. This was highlighted by Members and friends of the Club during our Strategy and Policy Group (SPG) meeting on 29 November. We are delighted and grateful for this positive judgement.” > read on


29th RPCA Annual Meeting

Abidjan, 25-27 November 2013

Members of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) confirmed a generally good 2013-2014 agro-pastoral campaign, but with localised food and nutritional insecurity risks. They recommend developing structural measures and response plans in favour of food and nutrition insecure populations, including flood victims as well as refugees and displaced persons. The Network also stressed the urgency of rebuilding national food stocks, as well as the need to strengthen the governance of States in agricultural statistical systems to better guide and inform food and nutrition policies. The 29th annual meeting was dedicated to the topic of “Indicators and methodological tools for measuring resilience”. > find out more | > final communiqué on the food and nutrition situation | > final communiqué of the RPCA meeting

Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR) – Senior Experts’ Group Meeting

Abidjan, 27 November 2013

Within the framework of the RPCA, the Senior Experts' Group (AGIR-SEG) met to take stock of progress made in the implementation of the Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR) since its launch in Ouagadougou in December 2012. Some countries were represented at ministerial level. The countries of the region urge their regional organisations to strengthen communication and political lobbying at the State level, and to provide all necessary technical and financial support for accelerating the implementation of country inclusive dialogues. They also recommend speeding-up the operationalisation of the AGIR Technical Unit and set the RPCA restricted meeting in April 2014 as a deadline for the progress review of country dialogue processes. > find out more | > AGIR key documents

SWAC Forum: The Future of the Saharo-Sahelian areas

Abidjan, 28 November 2013

Bringing together a representative panel of stakeholders (high dignitaries, African ministers, regional and international organisations, technical and financial partners, researchers, local political and economic actors), the Forum offered a platform for dialogue on the development potential of  the Saharo-Sahelian areas and the impact of increased co-operation between North, West and Central Africa, in particular in the field of security. Capitalising on the debates and analyses underway since Mid-2013, the SWAC Secretariat will prepare an Atlas within the OECD West African Studies series. > find out more | > summary record ( English | French | Arabic)  

SWAC Strategy and Policy Group Meeting (SPG)

Abidjan, 29 November 2013

Within the Strategy and Policy Group (SPG) Meeting, SWAC Secretariat Director Laurent Bossard presented achievements of 2013 and on-going work, which will be pursued in 2014. Members also provided feedback on the 2013 Sahel and West Africa Week (SWAW). Beyond the official programme, SWAW provided an opportunity to engage in discussions and meetings with colleagues, taking advantage of this coming together of the Sahel and West Africa family. SPG Members agreed that the next Sahel and West Africa Week should take place in an anglophone West African country during the week of 8-14 December 2014. > find out more | > summary record

A platform for numerous debates 

The Week hosted a large number of side-events: the meeting of the Committee of CILSS Partners (CPC) offered an opportunity to the new CILSS Executive Secretary Djimé Adoum to present his vision and priorities. Drawing on 40 years of experience, the CILSS team presented its achievements at a press conference. The UEMOA Commission invited technical and financial partners to raise awareness on its Regional Fund for Agricultural Development (FRDA). Technical and financial partners of ECOWAS met to take stock of their support activities. A large number of ad hoc meetings contributed to deepening exchanges and advancing the West African agenda. Last but not least, Peter Huyghebaert, Ambassador of Belgium in Abidjan, hosted a reception for Forum participants at his personal residence and the Ivorian government invited all participants to a buffet dinner. All these events offered opportunities for sharing experience and networking.

Viewpoint: the new dynamics of CILSS

Capitalising on 40 years of experience, CILSS Executive Secretary Djimé Adoum presents his vision and priorities for the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the region’s specialised agency in the field of food security:

“Let's be honest, CILSS has extraordinary technical and scientific skills but in terms of visibility, it has lost some ground. We are therefore responding to this challenge and I am confident we will succeed. As you may have noticed, there is a new dynamic!” > read on



West African Futures: Settlement, Market and Food Security

May 2013 

Settlement dynamics have reshaped West Africa’s social and economic geography over the past 60 years. The spatial changes, urbanisation and in particular, a high degree of economic concentration , favour the development of market-oriented agriculture. With the population of West Africa set to double by 2050, agricultural production systems will continue to experience far-reaching changes. To support this transformation, policies need to take better account of producers’ location, profiles and constraints in order to develop effective food security strategies. In order to do so, they need uniform and reliable data – not presently available –particularly for key variables such as population, agricultural production and trade.


Conflict over Resources and Terrorism: Two Facets of Insecurity

April 2013

This study first analyses an old and recurring form of instability in the region: conflict over resources. A series of case studies will examine the causes of these conflicts with reference to the associated regional challenges and response tools. Secondly, the study addresses terrorism, a relatively new dimension of insecurity. It outlines the development of AQMI and Boko Haram and then focuses on a comparative analysis of legal mechanisms to fight against terrorism. The argument holds that the congruence of these insecurities and the current violent crises present an unprecedented risk of destabilisation for West Africa and the international community.              


Summary Record of the Regional Symposium on Pastoral Livestock

September 2013

In May 2013 in N’Djaména, a regional symposium and a ministerial conference sent an important message to policy makers responsible for strategies aimed at stabilising and developing the Saharo-Sahelian areas: pastoral farming is a solution against abandoned space and the related risk of instability. It is at the same time an answer to social, economic and environmental problems and must therefore be placed at the core of stabilisation strategies and policies. Co-organised by the French Development Agency (AFD), the SWAC Secretariat and the Government of Chad, with the support of the EU, IFAD, IUCN and Switzerland, the symposium illustrated that concrete action linking «security and development» can be implemented in the Saharo-Sahelian areas through pastoralism, simultaneously contributing to its revival (> summary record available in French only).


Agriculture and food production: Africans faced with controversial choices of agricultural models

by Sibiri Jean Zoundi

Should we prioritize agricultural producers or consumers? Should agricultural policies support family farming or agribusinesses? The opinion of policy makers on the one hand, and organisations of agricultural producers that actively promote family farming on the other, is often differing. The article addresses this debate by analysing the approaches based on the endogenous development  and the transformation of family farms. More particularly, it raises challenging questions for policy makers on the pitfalls associated with choosing agricultural models. > read the article (French only)

Sahel: the search for security

by Anna Pietikainen

Insecurity and conflict hinder human, and economic development. The Saharo-Sahelian region today presents some of the most daunting global security threats, which seriously undermine the stability and development of the region. The 2012-2013 crisis in northern Mali, though centred in one nation, epitomises the wider, cross-border dimension of these challenges. Here we point to some of the available policy responses towards their resolution. > read the article

2014 Events
  • 15-16 April, Restricted Meeting of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA), including the AGIR Senior Experts’ Group meeting (AGIR-SEG), OECD headquarters, Paris
  • 26-30 May, ECOWAS Regional Forum on Climate Mitigation Strategies, Bamako, Mali
  • 17 June, SWAC Strategy and Policy Group Meeting (SPG), OECD headquarters, Paris
  • 8-12 December, Sahel and West Africa Week (2014 SWAW), venue to be confirmed


You made the Week - thank you all!


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