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AFD, ECOWAS Sign New €20m Deal To Boost Agriculture

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AFD, ECOWAS Sign New €20m Deal To Boost Agriculture

By: Michael Mike

The French Development Agency (AFD) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have signed a new financial arrangement totaling €20 million to support the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP) to tackle food crisis in the West Africa sub-region.

The agreement, which has two components, was signed by the President of the ECOWAS Commission Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, and the Director of the French Development Agency in Nigeria Mr. Xavier Muron in Abuja on Monday.

This financial arrangement is dedicated to the implementation of two projects, which include the € 11 million Support to the “Local Milk Regional Strategy” aimed at developing local dairy value chains in West Africa; and the €9 million Support to the West African Food Security Storage Strategy, both totalling € 20 million. This development has increased to €17 million the total amount of French support for this critical project.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Ms. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, French Minister of State for Development, Francophonie, and International Partnerships, and the Ambassador of France to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Emmanuelle Blatmann.

President of the Commission Touray noted in a statement that the various technical and financial support provided by France to ECOWAS through the AFD has boosted ECOWAS in various areas, which include the “implementation of the 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 lauded the support that the AFD Group has given over the past 10 years which amounts to a total of €135 million including €75 million in delegated European funds to implement regional projects and programs dealing with critical issues of vulnerabilities and crises affecting the region (food security, livestock and transhumance conflicts, Sanitary and phytosanitary surveillance climate smart Agriculture and sustainable agriculture).

“France has also put at our disposal strategic and technical support. Since 2018 France has played the role of a leader in mobilising support for our ECOWAP. And in this area a lot of support has been raised in favour of our agriculture,” he said.

In her reaction, the French Minister of State said “this support from the French Development Agency, AFD, is part of our collective efforts to strengthen the regional response to food security and nutrition challenges, as well as fostering economic and social development in the region.

“We are deeply convinced that there cannot be development without stability and also there cannot be stability without development. This is why France and the EU are fully committed to supporting regional institutions and in particular ECOWAS.

“Already 13 million people are in immediate need of food and nutrition to avert a crisis, which could rise to 42 million in the next two months if drastic measures are not taken to curb the situation. It has therefore become incumbent on us to tackle food and nutrition challenges.”

Commending the extent of the on-going partnership between AFD and ECOWAS, the Minister of State said that this support fully contributes to ECOWAP’s priority on food sovereignty. This is also in line with one of the priority objectives that France intends to support in Africa, as President of France Emmanuel Macron stated during the French Presidential Development Council on May 5 2023.

The project’s implementation will be performed by the ECOWAS Commission, through its Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF). The project activities will be carried out in the ECOWAS region extended to Chad, Mauritania and Cameroon.

AFD, ECOWAS Sign New €20m Deal To Boost Agriculture

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