SWAC News: March-September 2012



Food Security

Strategic Orientations



Director's Editorial
Anne de Lattre, founder of the Club du Sahel  Anne de Lattre, Founder and for many years Director of the “Club du Sahel”, left us during the heart of the summer. Her death provoked a wave of emotions within a large community of friends. To each she leaves a special heritage. To all and to West Africa, she leaves the Club – this particular space for dialogue and co-operation. > read | > download some memories of friends
Colloquium Security-Development Nexus

Dialogue on the Security-Development Nexus

On 12 June, some fifty security-development experts and actors, including a large delegation from Mali, gathered at the OECD headquarters to discuss West Africa’s major security challenges. Discussion was opened by H.E. Mr. Boubacar Sidiki Touré, Ambassador of Mali to France, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, former Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation. Concrete examples such as Chad offered an interesting basis for discussion on the regional dimension of the security-development nexus. Dedicated to policy coherence, the debate also contributed to promoting dialogue between OECD member countries and Africa from a “security and development” perspective. > find out more


Northern Mali at a glance

This facts-based presentation of key economic and social features of northern Mali helps better understand the underlying dynamics of the ongoing conflict. It highlights the North’s considerable contributions to Mali as a whole, recalling that cost-benefit analysis must also include costs related to conflict and instability. > find out more

Statement by H. E. Mr. Boubacar Sidiki Touré, Ambassador of Mali in France

“Despite Mali’s limited resources, the authorities have always been driven by an unwavering commitment to bringing security to the northern regions. They have clearly understood that the only solution lies in the development of these areas. It is worth recalling the policy of positive discrimination resulting from various agreements that were signed from 1991 and implemented in favour of the Touaregs.” > read

Food Security

West African leaders welcome the Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative – Sahel (AGIR)

West African leaders have submitted to the European Commission a joint position paper in which they warmly welcome the AGIR initiative. The paper highlights that the initiative must support the implementation of existing regional policies and investment programmes in the field of food crisis prevention and management. Following analyses and consultations with all stakeholders, a roadmap shall be validated by a high-level expert meeting on 7-8 November in Paris. AGIR will be officially launched on 6 December within the framework of the 28th annual meeting of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA). The SWAC Secretariat facilitates the co-ordination between all stakeholders of the initiative. > find out more

 RPCA, April 2012

Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) calls for urgent political action

This RPCA meeting, organised in Paris on 12 and 13 April 2012, was held in the context of the dramatic situation that is unfolding in northern Mali. RPCA members acknowledged the responsiveness and exemplary role played by ECOWAS in managing the political crisis in Mali. They called upon ECOWAS and UEMOA to organise a high-level meeting and make political and financial decisions in order to prevent the food crisis from turning into a serious humanitarian crisis. > final communiqué


Food security leaders meet with G20 representatives

In the margin of the RPCA, the SWAC Secretariat facilitated meetings between ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS leaders and key personalities involved in the G20. These meetings helped promote ongoing West African food security initiatives, including the creation of a Regional Food Reserve which was endorsed by the G20 under the French Presidency. > find out more

food security

West African Ministers take new food crisis measures

In response to the recommendations of the RPCA, agricultural ministers from ECOWAS countries, Chad and Mauritania gathered from 4 to 5 June in Lomé to review the food and nutritional situation and take additional measures to address the food crisis in the Sahel. Facilitated by the SWAC Secretariat, this joint high-level meeting was an important step forward toward improving co-ordination between food security stakeholders, in line with the principles of the Charter for Food Crisis Prevention and Management. > final communiqué

Lapodini Marc Atouga,ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of agriculture, environment and natural resources

Interview with ECOWAS Commissioner Mr. Atouga

“We do not have enough resources to allow ourselves to do the same thing several times in the same country; it is therefore imperative to rationalise. Today, the three institutions, ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS, work together with each having a specific role to play.” > read


Biofuels: West African farmers meet with Brazilian counterparts

From 12 to 15 March 2012, West African farmers and ROPPA members conducted a field mission to the Cerea and Bahia States of Brazil. Building on various exchanges with Brazilian professionals involved in the biofuel sector and gonvernment representatives, they learned on site about the challenges related to green fuel production. The results of this mission contributed to developing a joint position reflecting the viewpoints and concerns of West African agricultural producers. > mission report

Strategic Orientations
 Strategy and Policy Group meeting, June 2012

Strategy and Policy Group reviews the Club’s work orientations

On 11 June, SWAC Members took stock of the implementation of the 2011-12 Programme of Work and Budget and outlined future work prospects for the 2013-14 period. They also discussed a proposal for a revised Mandate and the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Club and the OECD. Thematic presentations focused on the regional governance of food security and initial findings of the West African Futures programme. > summary record

SWAC Activity Report 2011 

Activity Report 2011

This activity report takes stock of the work conducted by the new Sahel and West Africa Club since January 2011 when West African regional organisations, namely ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS, became full Members. The Programme of Work implemented by the SWAC Secretariat mainly focused on settlement, market and food security; food crisis prevention and management; renewable energy issues; security and development; and current West African trends.

SWAC Colloquium on Security and Development, key lessons

Key lessons from the SWAC Colloquium on the Security-Development Nexus

This paper analyses the links between local insecurities and global threats, the collusion between terrorism and transnational organised crime, the shortcomings of democracy in the region, and the role of West African and African peace and security mechanisms. A special section on Mali features a speech by Mali’s Ambassador to France and an overview of economic and social conditions in northern Mali. The paper makes a strong case for regional responses to West Africa’s security-development challenges and calls for policy actors to seek long-term solutions rather than resorting exclusively to more expedient short-term fixes.


Burkina Faso: a new investment framework for agriculture

Burkina Faso: a new investment framework for agriculture (French)

This is the first evaluation of Burkina Faso’s agricultural policies to attract more and better investment in agriculture. Within the context of the ongoing global debate on land grabbing, it provides a comprehensive review of agricultural investment policies in Burkina Faso. This government-wide evaluation – covering 17 ministries and institutions as well as the private sector – identifies both short- and medium-term measures to improve and strengthen Burkina Faso's capacity to design policies. Key findings were discussed at nationwide consultations and at a restitution workshop in Ouagadougou. The evaluation was conducted by the Burkina Faso Ministry of Agriculture, with the support of the NEPAD-OECD Africa Investment Initiative and the Sahel and West Africa Club, based on the Policy Framework for Investment in Agriculture (PFIA) draft.

Charter for Food Crisis Prevention and Management 


Building on regional and national dialogue workshops, the “Charter for Food Crisis Prevention and Management” was approved on 17 November 2011 by the region’s ministers in charge of food and agriculture. The Charter covers the 15 ECOWAS member countries, Chad and Mauritania. Advocating mutual responsibility, this food crisis prevention and management tool emphasizes the role played by regional organisations and non-state actors. It also aims to address root causes of chronic and cyclical food insecurity, and advocates for better information-sharing, consensual analysis and improved crisis management based on regional solidarity. A set of instruments to assess the application of the Charter principles is currently being prepared. 13 000 copies of this final version (available in English, French and Portuguese) have been disseminated to national focal points in order to ensure large-scale dissemination to relevant stakeholders at the local level.

Nigeria Country Profile 

West African Country Profiles – Nigeria

Within the framework of the West Africa Gateway, regionally focused country fact sheets are currently being updated. Compiling institutional, economic and social data and information from various West African and international sources, the country profile places each country into its regional context and facilitates access to key data. A Did you know? section highlights some little-known, astonishing facts. A sample profile has been finalised on Nigeria. Other country profiles are forthcoming shortly. > Nigeria profile sheet


Weekly NewsBriefs

Within the West Africa Gateway, the SWAC Secretariat's NewsBriefs monitor political, economic and social trends and events analysing them from a regional perspective. It pays particular attention to activities of its West African Members, - ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS, thereby contributing to make their work more visible. The original English version is published every Tuesday and the French translation is available every Thursday. This weekly service is for free and you can subscribe online.
Gateway consultations‌ 

West Africa Gateway consults Members

Ouagadougou, 20-24 February and Abuja, 25-27 July

During consultative missions to UEMOA and CILSS in February and to ECOWAS in July, the SWAC Secretariat collected first-hand information, publications and other data in order to ensure that the gateway promotes as much as possible the information and knowledge of its Members. It already actively contributes to making Members’ work more visible through its weekly NewsBriefs.


ECOWAS Regional Bioenergy Forum

Bamako, 19-22 March 2012

As follow-up to the SWAC Forum on “Brazil and West Africa: Addressing Renewable Energy Challenges”, the SWAC Secretariat participated in the ECOWAS Regional Bioenergy Forum, organised with the support of the ECOWAS Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). The Forum encouraged a regional dialogue and peer learning to support ECOWAS member states in developing their respective bioenergy strategies. > concept note


Regional Conference on the Agricultural Situation and Agri-Food Trade Opportunities

Lomé, 26-30 March 2012

Organised by the CILSS Secretariat in collaboration with the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD), this annual consultation meeting brought together West African experts as well as technical and financial partners to discuss the final results of the agricultural and food campaign 2011-2012. This year’s thematic focus was dedicated to “Developing regional trade in a context of rising agricultural product prices: the roles of different actors.” Participants representing various sectors of the agricultural value chain, formulated recommendations for policy makers, private sector representatives, regional organisations and development partners. > synthesis report (French)

Land portal

Land and Poverty Annual Conference

Washington D.C., 23-27 April 2012

In order to improve global land governance, the World Bank has developed a Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF), covering 5 thematic areas, 21 indicators, 80 dimensions of good governance. The standardised indicators will help in identifying the precise areas where land governance still needs to be improved. The SWAC’s presentation focused on how to address large-scale land acquisition challenges. The conference, which brought together some 200 land experts from 85 countries, also provided an opportunity to promote the recently launched online database: http://landportal.info/landmatrix.


African Borderlands Research Network Annual Meeting

Edinburgh, 5-9 June 2012

The 6th African Borderlands Research Network Annual Meeting (ABORNE), focused on “regional integration from above and below”. Building on its extensive experience in cross-border co-operation issues, the SWAC Secretariat presented initial findings of the West African Futures programme, focusing more particularly on the role of the regional market and the impact of cross-border trade flows. > about the network


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