The regional agricultural policy for West Africa (ECOWAP) is to receive a 20 million Euros support fund from the ECOWAS Commission and the French Development Agency (AFD). The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, and the Director of the French Development Agency in Nigeria Mr. Xavier Muron, signed the two financing agreements today, May 29, 2023.
The event which was held in Abuja was witnessed by the French Minister of State for Development and International Partnerships Francophonie, Ms. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, and the Ambassador of France to Nigeria and ECOWAS, HE Ms. Emmanuelle Blatmann.
The 20 million Euros is for the execution of two projects namely; the West African Food Security Shortage which will receive 9 million Euros in aid and the establishment of the Local Milk Regional Strategy which will receive 11 million Euros in aid.
Though the West African Food Security Shortage had received 8 million Euros, an additional 9 million Euros will increase the total aid funds from France to 17 million Euros which is necessary due to the context of a worsening food crisis in the region.
The president of the commission, Dr. Touray said that apart from the 17 million Euros from France, through AFD, France has contributed more in terms of technical and financial aid to ECOWAS. This has allowed West Africa to champion many areas that need aid such as the implementation of the ECOWAS agricultural policy (ECOWAP), the creation and implementation of the regional energy market, the health sector, and the development of the activities of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).
He further praised the AFD Group for giving a sum of 135 million Euros over the last 10 years, including 75 million Euros in assigned European funds. These funds have been able to execute regional projects and programs that have to do with important issues of vulnerabilities and emergencies affecting the region (food security, livestock and transhumance conflicts, Sanitary and phytosanitary, climate-smart Agriculture, and sustainable agriculture).
He said all the help and aid from AFD, is among our collaborative feedback in fighting the issue of food scarcity and nutrition problems and strengthening productive growth for the region. ECOWAS shall execute the programs in their region and annex to Chad, Mauritania, and Cameroon through its Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF).
All these programs are part of the French president’s ambition to help development in Africa as stated during the French Presidential Development Council on the 5th of May.