Intra-regional food trade in West Africa (12-13 October 2023)


Increasing intra-regional food trade is a top policy priority for governments in West Africa, potentially contributing to several important development objectives: improving food and nutrition security and resilience, the sustainability of food systems and livelihoods and economic development.

Reliable food trade statistics are fundamental for effective policy making, particularly for agricultural and food system policies; however, official statistics are incomplete and significantly underestimate the true extent of intra-regional food trade due to the large volumes that are informal and unrecorded. Therefore, improving the coverage and measurement of food trade in West Africa should be an important priority for policy makers. 

The SWAC/OECD Secretariat is organising an experts’ meeting to bring together stakeholders from government agencies, academia and international organisations to discuss the current trade data situation, initiatives and policy agendas, and to identify opportunities for action and collaboration to promote better use of trade data in policy design.



  • Assess current food trade data gaps in West Africa and discuss how the lack of data impact policy formulation in the region.
  • Discuss national and regional initiatives and policy agendas on intra-regional food trade monitoring.

  • Identify opportunities for action and collaboration to promote better food trade monitoring mechanisms at the West African regional level. 

Key documents:




Antoine Bouët, Director, Centre for Prospective Studies and International Information (CEPII)

Antoine Bouët is Director of Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales (Paris) since October, 1st 2022. He is also Professor of Economics at the University of Bordeaux (France) and Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Previously, he joined IFPRI in February 2005 as a Senior Researcher to conduct research on world trade modelling, trade policies, regional agreements, multilateral trade negotiations and informal cross-border trade in Africa. He was previously a scientific advisor at CEPII, where he participated in the development of the MIRAGE model of the world economy and the MAcMAP-HS6 database on market access. He has also conducted research on improving trade and trade policy data, modelling the impact of support for the biofuel sector, export restrictions, the political economy of protectionism, world agricultural markets, African agricultural trade, regional and multilateral trade agreements, the economics of trade retaliation and the world trading system.


Providence Mavubi, Director, Industry and Agriculture, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

Providence Mavubi is a development practitioner with over 18 years of practical experience in coordinating programme, project design, planning and implementation manageme

nt, grants management (technical and financial), Agribusiness Management, agricultural policy development, industrial development, Investment promotion, Trade Facilitation, Market Access, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, technical barriers to trade (TBT), Value Chain Development, Private Sector Development, Regional Integration and Environment Management. She has worked with different organizations both at regional and national level including government ministries & parastatals, donor organizations, and private sector.

She is currently working as a director in charge of Industry and Agriculture development at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) where she works to support COMESA Member State cooperate in industry and agriculture development toward regional integration. Prior to joining COMESA, she was the Local Sourcing Development Manager at Bralirwa Plc a Heineken Subsidiary in Rwanda in charge of sourcing the brewery agriculture raw materials both national and regionally. Other posts held includes: Business Development Service Expert with USAID/Nguriza Nshore Project in Rwanda; Investment Specialist/Embedded Advisor at the Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth (PSDAG) Project that supported USAID Rwanda Mission and the Government of Rwanda (GoR) Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI); Export Marketing Manager with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and a Senior Agribusiness Officer with the former Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA).

Providence Mavubi hold a Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Management from Maastricht School of Management (Netherlands); master’s degree in Agribusiness Management and a bachelor’s degree in business administration Major Economics from Central Luzon State University (Philippines).


Amey Otchakpa, Chef Service Commerce Extérieur, National Institute of Statistics and Economic and Demographic Studies (INSEED), Togo

Je suis Amey Otchakpa, née le 19 août 1978 à Imoussa au Togo, Macroéconomiste et titulaire d’un Master 2 au programme de formation en gestion de politique économique (GPE-Abidjan) et d’un DESS en économie de développement (Université de Lomé). Je suis Cheffe division des statistiques économiques et courantes à l’INSEED depuis Octobre 2021. Cette division a en charge d’élaboration des statistiques du commerce extérieur de marchandises et de services. Avant d’être Cheffe de la division chargée des statistiques du commerce extérieur, j’ai été de juillet 2019 à septembre 2021 cheffe division de la comptabilité nationale et de la prévision avec le management d’une équipe de 10 personnes. Nous avons enregistré des résultats encourageants relatifs à l’élaboration régulière des comptes nationaux selon le système de comptabilité nationale 2008 qui ont fait l’objet d’une évaluation par les pairs. J’ai coordonné les travaux de retropolation des comptes nationaux de 2015 à 2007 suite à la migration et au changement d’année de base.


Sophie Diop, Experte au Bureau des Échanges extérieurs, National Agency of Statistics and Demography (ANSD), Senegal

Diplômée de l’Ecole nationale de la Statistique et de l’Analyse économique (ENSAE) de Dakar en tant qu’ingénieure statisticienne, j’ai fait mes premiers pas dans le monde professionnel à la Direction de la Prévision et des Etudes économiques (DPEE). J’ai par la suite rejoint le groupe Wari-Sénégal avant d’intégrer l’Agence nationale de la Statistique et de la Démographie (ANSD) en 2015 à la Direction des Statistiques économiques et de la Comptabilité nationale. Ainsi, notre rôle en tant qu’experte des échanges extérieurs tourne autour de la compilation des statistiques du commerce international de marchandises (et récemment des services), de la gestion de ces bases de données, et à la production des indices des prix du commerce extérieur. Par ailleurs, nous représentons aussi l’ANSD au niveau de tous les comités nationaux et internationaux ayant rapport avec les échanges extérieurs.


Mohammed Tumala, Head of the External Sector Statistics Division, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Mohammed M. TUMALA holds BSc, MSc and PhD in Statistics, and an Executive Certificate in Public Policy of the Harvard Kennedy School, Executive Education. He has publications in time series, econometrics, and applied statistical research.  Dr. Tumala is the incumbent Director, Statistics Department of the Central Bank.  Prior to joining the Central Bank of Nigeria, he had served also as Research/M&E Advisor on USAID Projects implemented by: Constella Futures International LCC; The Mitchell Group Inc; The Nigerian Monitoring and Evaluation Management Services (Nigeria MEMS). These projects offered research, modelling and policy reforms support in education, health, governance, and commerce, and project performance management as part of USAID Missions program in Nigeria. He has consulted for the World Bank, UNDP, USAID and DFID in the areas of performance management systems and policy impact assessment.

Javier Suarez, Lead Economist, Global Trade and Regional Integration, The World Bank

Javier joined the World Bank in 2002 and has held various positions in Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) Practice Group in Africa, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean regions. His most recent assignment being Lead Economist and EFI Program Leader for Haiti, Guyana, and Suriname. Prior to joining the Bank, Javier worked in the Trade Policy Review division at the World Trade Organization.



Yared Befecadu, Programme Management Officer, Office for Africa, Division for Country Programmes, International Trade Centre (ITC)

Yared Befecadu is a PRINCE 2 certified development professional with extensive experience in trade related techincal assistance. During the last 13 years working for ITC, he has contributed to the design and implemetation of innovative trade intelligence solutions including the Trade Obstacles Alert Mechanism, the SDG Trade Monitoring tool and a methodology for business surveys in the services sector. He is currently managing a wide portfolio of projects in West Africa that include the EU funded West Africa Competitveness Programme and the GIZ funded ECOWAS Agricultural Trade programme. Thanks to the actvities that he conducted within the framework of ECOWAS and WAEMU Commissions led programs, he had the opportunity to build an extensive knowledge of the West African region. His areas of expertise include market access regulations, privates sector support, project management and SDGs implementation.

Yared holds a master degree in Economic Analysis and a M.A. in Development Economics and International Cooperation. He is an Italian national of Ethiopian and Eritrean origins, who is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.


Alejandro Guarin, Principal Researcher, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London

Alejandro Guarin is a principal researcher and food systems lead at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London. His work focuses primarily on informal food markets, using evidence to challenge assumptions about the informal sector and to inform innovative policy approaches. His interests and experience include small-scale farming, diets and consumption, land use change and deforestation. Before joining IIED he was a researcher at the German Development Institute in Bonn, a consultant for FAO and a visiting lecturer at MIT. He got his PhD in Geography from the University of California at Berkeley, and studied biology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.


Eleanor Wiesmann, Researcher, Stanford University

Eleanor Wiseman is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. She is a development economist who focuses on issues in trade and political economy. She recently finished her PhD in Economics at the University of California Berkeley after earning a degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge and her masters at Yale University. Her research is on informal trade, corruption and information diffusion and most of her research projects are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her recent research looks at cross-border food trade, the links between formal and informal trade routes and the role of information and bargaining power in reducing corruption and trade costs for small-scale traders. She is also working with the OECD on shedding light on food trade in West Africa.

Laura Naliaka, Trade Policy Fellow, Africa Trade Policy Centre, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Laura Naliaka is a trade policy expert at the Africa Trade Policy Centre at United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), where she leads the workstreams on informal cross-border trade and standardization, among others. She is an applied economist, and her research interests ranges from trade policy, regional integration to the AfCFTA. She has published a number of studies on these subjects. She previously worked at the African Economic Research Consortium where she oversaw a project on mitigating the adverse effects of COVID-19 in East Africa on various sectors. Prior to that, she worked at the ECA sub-regional office for Eastern Africa focusing on, balance of payments, AfCFTA, regional integration and macro-developments in the region. She holds an MSc in Development Economics from the University of Sussex.


Raimi Essessinou, Chef Service des Statistiques Sociales, Direction des Statistiques Sociales, National Institute of Statistics and Demography (Instead) Benin

Docteur en Mathématiques appliquées, Spécialité Recherche opérationnelle et optimisation, Diplômé de l’Institut de Mathématique et de Sciences Physiques (IMSP), Dangbo (Bénin), 2021.
Administrateur des Finances et du Trésor, Diplômé de l’Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), Abomey-Calavi (Bénin), 2017
Ingénieur Statisticien Economiste, Diplômé de l’Ecole Nationale de Statistique et d’Economie Appliquée (ENSEA), Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), 2008
Membre du chapitre Bénin de la Fédération Africaine de la société de recherche opérationnelle. Depuis 2009, spécialiste en méthodes quantitatives, modélisation, production et gestion des statistiques socio-économiques.
Directeur de la Comptabilité Nationale et des Statistiques Economiques, Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie (INStaD, ex INSAE), Février 2022 à maintenant.
Directeur des Statistiques et Etudes Economiques, Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie (INStaD, ex INSAE), Avril 2020 à janvier 2022.
Directeur technique, Responsable Statistique et Suivi-Evaluation de l’Unité de Gestion de la Réforme du système de Gestion des Finances Publiques (UGR), Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances (MEF)/Bénin, décembre 2017 à juillet 2019.


Sunday Odjo, Deputy Director, Operational Support, Akademiya2063

Sunday Pierre Odjo is Deputy Director of the Department of Operational Support at Akademiya2063, based in Dakar, Senegal. He is an agricultural economist with research interests in household economies, regional trade, and agricultural policy analysis. Before joining Akademiya2063, he served as a Senior Research Coordinator in the Africa Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Prior to joining IFPRI, he served as an Agricultural and Trade Policy Advisor in the Secretariat of the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of West and Central Africa in Dakar, Senegal. In the early stage of his career, he worked as a Research Associate at the Laboratoire d’Analyse Régionale et d’Expertise Sociale (LARES) in Cotonou, Benin. He holds a PhD in Rural Economics from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium and an MA in Geography and Land Use Planning from the National University of Benin.


Motchosso Justin MATITOMA, Permanent Secretary AOCTAH/WACTAF, EAT Focal Point

Agronomist and Specialist in transport and inter-state trade of agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries food products. Permanent Secretary of the West African Association of Cross-Border Trade in Food, Agro-Sylvo-Pastoral and Fisheries Products (WACTAF). WACTAF Focal Point of the FARM-TRAC Project: Family Farming, Regional Markets, and Cross-Border Trade Corridors in the Sahel; financed by IFAD/IFAD and implemented in 17 West African countries (15 ECOWAS + Chad + Mauritania) and EAT-GIZ project. Responsible and Coordinator of the collection of data on cross-border trade flows in the ECO-ICBT database in the 17 countries of the WACTAF (15 ECOWAS countries + Chad + Islamic Republic of Mauritania). Representative of WACTAF at the Technical Secretariat of the ECOWAS Informal Trade Regularization Support Programme (ITRSP).




Brahima Cisse, Co-ordinator of IFAD FARM-TRAC

Il est spécialiste en Commerce régional et Transport des produits agro-sylvo-pastoraux et halieutiques au Sahel et en Afrique de l'Ouest. Il a plus de 20 ans d’expériences dans les projets de développement au Sahel et en Afrique de l’Ouest.

Il est actuellement Coordonnateur du projet régional FIDA Family FArming, Regional Markets and cross border TRAde Corridors in the Sahel and West Africa (FARM-TRAC) / Agriculture Familiale, Marchés Régionaux et Corridors Commerciaux Transfrontaliers au Sahel et en Afrique de l’Ouest (FARM-TRAC).

Il a été aussi à la base de création de l’Association Ouest Africaine du Commerce Transfrontalier des Produits Alimentaires, Agro-sylvo-pastoraux et Halieutiques (AOCTAH) au Sahel et en Afrique de l’Ouest.

Avant d’occuper successivement les postes d’expert au CILSS en Commerce intra-régional et transport et de Coordonnateur du projet FARM-TRAC, Mr Brahima CISSE a travaillé comme analyste des flux transfrontaliers, transport, et système d'information de marché agricoles (SIM) au projet USAID Regional Agribusiness & Trade Promotion and Expanded Agribusiness & Trade Promotion programs à Accra au Ghana. Auparavant, il a travaillé à divers titres auprès de plusieurs organismes nationaux et internationaux tels que le Ministère de la Santé, le Ministère de l’Economie et du Développement, le Ministère de la Jeunesse, de l'Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle, le PNUD, l'ONUSIDA. Brahima a été Responsable du suivi et de l'assistance technique pour le Dispositif ONUSIDA d'appui technique pour l'Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre (couvrant 25 pays). En outre, il a travaillé comme consultant indépendant au Bénin, au Burkina Faso, au Mali, en Mauritanie, au Niger, au Sénégal, au Tchad et au Togo pour l'USAID, la Banque mondiale, la Commission européenne et de la Coopération Française.

Ses travaux se concentrent sue les objectifs suivants : i) contribuer à une meilleure connaissance du fonctionnement du commerce des produits agricoles et alimentaires au Sahel et en Afrique de l'Ouest; ii) contribuer à faire progresser la libre circulation des produits agricoles au Sahel et en Afrique de l'Ouest; et enfin iii) contribuer à la formulation et à la mise en œuvre de politiques et stratégies régionales de promotion du commerce des produits agricoles et alimentaires.

Il est membre de la Coalition continentale du commerce alimentaire en Afrique, membre du Groupe de travail continental sur les données de commerce et la sécurité alimentaire et membre du Groupe de travail continental sur la logistique et les corridors de transport des produits alimentaires.

Il est titulaire d'un Master en Affaires Internationales Ingénierie Economique et Financière et d’un Diplôme d'Ingénieur des Travaux Informatiques. Brahima parle couramment le français et peut travailler en anglais.



Fousseini Traore, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 

Fousseini TRAORE is a senior research fellow in the Markets, Trade and Institutions unit of IFPRI, based at the Regional Office for West and Central Africa, in Dakar. His research focuses on agricultural policies, trade and regional integration in Africa. He is a co-editor of the Africa agriculture trade monitor, a flagship report published by IFPRI and Akademiya2063. He was the head of the modeling and technical resources component of the  AGRODEP network from 2015 to 2020.



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