16 May 2017. Brussels. In collaboration with the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission, the SWAC Secretariat discussed why the challenges facing food security in West Africa should not be overshadowed by the resurgence of demographic, migration and security concerns on the international agenda. See web stream

  • Food security issues are at the heart of these concerns and should be considered as part of the solution to the challenges they raise. Of central importance is the food sector which is the largest economic sector in the region, far ahead of extractive industries, cash crops or the energy sector. 
  • The food economy offers huge potential for creating more jobs, stimulating stronger and more inclusive growth, opening up a wider field of opportunities – in rural and urban areas – for agricultural producers and entrepreneurs, and pulling the most vulnerable out of poverty and insecurity. 

Introduction: 

  • Leonard MIZZI, Head of Unit, Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition (DEVCO C1)
  • Charlotte ADRIAEN, Deputy Head of Unit, Development Coordination and Regional Cooperation WestAfrica (DEVCO E2)

Presentation: 

  • Laurent BOSSARD, Director, Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat
  • Philipp HEINRIGS, Senior Economist, Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat

Related:
Maps and facts on Food issues and Demographic, Migration and Security Challenges 

Burkina Faso, 2016 © OECD/SWAC
November 2016 (40 pages)

This document promotes the following key message: the challenges facing food security should not be overshadowed by the resurgence of demographic, migration and security concerns on the international agenda. Rather, food security is closely related to these issues, and should be considered as part of the solution to the challenges they raise.

Food issues are at the heart of the West African economy and society; ignoring their importance would be a strategic error. The business of making food for human consumption, including all elements of the value chain – production, processing and distribution – is the largest sector in the region, far ahead of oil, cash crops or industry. The food sector is key for creating more jobs, stimulating stronger and more inclusive growth, opening up a wider field of opportunities for agricultur al producers and other entrepreneurs, and pulling the most vulnerable out of poverty and insecurity.

Background:

Created in 1984, the RPCA is an international network for co-operation and co-ordination under the political leadership of the Commissions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). Co-ordinated jointly by the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD), the RPCA brings together the region’s key food and nutrition security stakeholders: representatives of Sahelian and West African countries, regional organisations, regional and international information systems, bilateral and multilateral co-operation agencies, humanitarian agencies and international NGOs, agricultural professional organisations, civil society and the private sector.

Published on 26 Apr 2017 : RPCA meeting, 10-12 April 2017

Members of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) reviewed the final results of the 2016-17 agro-pastoral campaign, analysed the food and nutrition situation and made some recommendations, particularly focused on mobilising urgent and co-ordinated assistance to the affected populations in the Lake Chad basin. They also encouraged all stakeholders to commit to implementing long-term programmes to rehabilitate and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable populations.

 

This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.

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