Dakar, Senegal – As part of its programme to support regional parliaments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), AWEPA supported a delocalised meeting on the theme of “ECOWAS Regional Agricultural Investment Plan and the National Agricultural Investment Plans of Member States”, organised by the Joint Committees of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The event, which took place in Dakar, Senegal on 1-5 November 2016, explored the context surrounding proposed revisions to the Agricultural Policy in West Africa (ECOWAP), a central ECOWAS policy which aims to improve agriculture and competitiveness, implement intra-community trade regime and adapt to external trade regime.
After 10 years of implementation of the ECOWAP, the ECOWAS Commission, together with Member States and other partners, has been reviewing the successes and challenges of agricultural development in the region, with a view to designing a follow-up programme for sustainable agricultural development in West Africa.
The members of the ECOWAS Parliament present at the meeting examined this process of the review and follow up, and explored the role of MPs and the Parliament.
As part of these discussions, the parliamentarians examined the implementation of the ECOWAP, with its component Regional Agricultural Investment Plan and National Agricultural Investment Plans, as well as reviewing some of its key achievements and challenges both at regional and national levels.
In addition, they shared their experiences of resource mobilisation and investment regarding the implementation of agricultural programmes geared towards food security and sustainable agricultural development.
Following the conference, ECOWAS MPs will better understand some of the gains and challenges of ECOWAP and the status of food security and agricultural development in the region. In addition, they will be better placed to adopt some of the best practices in their own communities and countries and hopefully contribute their input in the new programme.