Regional launch of the fourth continental biennial review report on agricultural growth and transformation and the preliminary consultation on ECOWAS Agriculture Policy (ECOWAP)/POST Malabo agenda

The Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the national and regional stakeholders of the agriculture sector, the African Union, and representatives of the sector’s six stakeholder groups convened to officially launch the fourth Biennial Review on agricultural growth and transformation and to start the conversation on the next ten years for the ECOWAS Agriculture Policy (ECOWAP) and Post Malabo Agenda. The event, which incorporated online and offline participation with a total of 98 participants, was held on the 16th and 17th of May 2024. It featured distinguished facilitators, experts, and ECOWAS officials in a detailed agenda to promote in-depth analysis, discussion, and action planning.

The Director of Agriculture and Rural Development of ECOWAS, Alain SY TRAORE, during his opening remarks, highlighted the importance of the Biennial Review process, setting the tone for the discussions with a subsequent presentation by Mrs. Fatmata Lucia SEIWOH, ECOWAP/CAADP Monitoring&Evaluation Programme Officer, Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Fourth Biennial Review Report, indicating that ECOWAS was rated for the second time as the best-performing region with five countries progressing well.

Regional BR Expert Professor Raphael BABATUNDE presented an in-depth analysis of the Biennial Review Report from the first to the fourth edition, the performance of ECOWAS countries in the four BR rounds based on the overall scores, and the assessment of the BR Process. At the same time, Dr. Mbaye YADE of AKADEMIYA2063 mentioned potential post-BR activities, drawing comparisons and insights to guide future strategies. During the meeting, Prof. Aminou Arouna, one of the regional experts, moderated an open discussion, which allowed participants to share their perspectives and provide feedback on the presented reports. The ceremony climaxed with the recognition of countries that were progressing well and the presentation of the two awards won by ECOWAS for BR 3 (2021) and BR 4(2023).

AU representative Mme. Panduleni ELAGO provided an overview of the Post Malabo consultations, conveners and co-conveners of the technical working groups, UPCOMING RECs-led regional consultations, and the support needed for the Post Malabo CAADP process. At the same time, Mrs. SEIWOH highlighted the perspectives for ECOWAP after 2025.

Dr. Olawale OLAYIDE, representative of the Post Malabo coordinating team, presented the objectives, agenda, and structure for West Africa’s physical meeting slated for June 12-14, 2024, in Abuja, Nigeria.

Several discussions were held on how to make ECOWAS and Member States perform better in the fifth BR process come 2025. The team elaborated on the need for policy dialogue, addressing data challenges, and strengthening the capacity of country agricultural data management committees. The Director recognized the efforts of technical and financial partners, especially USAID, European Union, FAO, and AGRA, for their confidence in the Directorate’s M&E team from 2015 to date in this process.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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