Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the NEPAD Agency and SWAC


OECD Headquarters, Paris, 22 October 2014

The CEO of the NEPAD Agency, Dr Mayaki, the OECD Deputy Secretary-General Mr Danvers and Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) Secretariat Director Mr Bossard signed on 22 October 2014 the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) (see Annex 1) between the SWAC and the NEPAD Planning and Co-ordinating Agency.


The objective of this MoU is to strengthen and facilitate collaboration between the institutions in a number of areas:


  • In the area of agriculture and food security, the social and political trajectories of West Africa have been, and will continue to be, profoundly transformed by population growth and settlement dynamics: the population is projected to double by 2050; West Africa has the world’s youngest population; and strong urbanisation and heterogeneous rural settlement dynamics transform agricultural and food systems and the functioning of markets. Policies will need to anticipate and embrace these transformations. The MOU seeks to strengthen synergies between the NEPAD Rural Futures and Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the analyses of trends and policies by the SWAC, in the interest of better informing the food security and rural development policies of the future.
  • Stability and security are among most daunting challenges faced by the region. There is a strong need for a coordinated, integrated approach to address the different facets of vulnerability in the region. The SWAC and NEPAD will collaborate in proposing models of cross-border co-operation for the stabilisation of the region; information will also be shared on the multidimensionality of vulnerability and resilience, thanks to the SWAC Secretariat’s active role in the roll out of the Global Alliance for Resilience in the Sahel and West Africa, AGIR.
  • Policy dialogue & sharing best practices: Finally, West Africa needs to tell the story of its many successful and innovative operational and policy mechanisms, particularly in the strengthening of the regional governance of food and nutritional security. The Food Crises Prevention Network (RPCA) created in 1984 with the support of the SWAC and co-facilitated with the Executive Secretariat of CILSS is a unique instrument that promotes coordination and consensus to better prevent and manage food crises. These also include the Charter for Food Crisis Prevention and Management negotiated under the framework of the RPCA. After years of negotiation, today, all agencies and actors involved in food security convene around the same language and tools to analyse the food and nutritional situation of the region; they also agree on operational and policy measures to deal with food crises and prevent them. This avoids contradictions and overlaps, and results in concrete synergies and increased effectiveness of food security policies in the region. These instruments are, in fact, textbook success stories of the principles put forward in the Paris declaration by the OECD. The SWAC has been instrumental in their design and implementation. The NEPAD Agency has an important role to play in disseminating these results and promoting their replication in other African regional economic communities (RECs). The identification of best practices and their dissemination in other countries is, in addition, at the heart of the OECD’s mandate.


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“I think this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) comes at the right moment; it tackles the right issues. In the annex, we have identified concrete areas for co-operation, like an action plan. […] Our intention is to move from West Africa beyond and enhance the accent that we are putting on policy dialogue, which in my view should also have a continental dimension. We are setting the mechanisms so that this becomes a continental instrument. The MoU will allow us to trigger exchanges of best practices and at the same time strengthen capacities. […] In a nutshell, this MoU focuses on policy dialogue and sharing best practices in order to foster regional integration in Africa.”‌ 

“This MoU partnership agreement is a significant step forward in our important relationship. It helps advancing our collaboration and will make it more efficient. […] West Africa, - you, us - need to tell the story of the many successful innovative operations and policy mechanisms that are already going on. People need to know that this is a place of the future; there are some good things going on right now; people need to see West Africa and all of Sub-Saharan Africa as a place for investment; as a place for opportunity; as a place for the future. I think this kind of MoU can really help do that. […] It cements the past but it looks to the future.”



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