ECOWAS, France sign €20m Agric Devt agreement

By Starrys Obazei | May 29, 2023, with agency report
starrys@ddnewsonline.com

The ECOWAS Commission and the French Development Agency (AFD) have signed two new financing agreements totaling €20 million in support of the regional agricultural policy (ECOWAP).

The two financing agreements were 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, today, May 29, 2023, in Abuja, AFP reports.

French Minister of State for Development and International Partnerships Francophonie, Ms. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, and ECOWAS, HE Ms. Emmanuelle Blatmann, were witnesses to the event in Abuja.

This financing is dedicated to the implementation of two projects, respectively, the €11 million Support to the “Local Milk Regional Strategy” aiming at developing local dairy value chains in West Africa; and the €9 million Support to the West African Food Security Storage Strategy, increasing to €17 million the total amount of French support for this critical project. The additional funding is crucial in the context of a worsening food crisis in the region.

Dr. Touray, President of the Commission, stated that the various technical and financial support provided by France to ECOWAS through the AFD Group has enabled the region to support various areas, among which are: 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 specifically commended 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, climate-smart Agriculture and sustainable agriculture).

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.

“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”, explained the French Minister of State.

Commending the extent of the ongoing partnership between AFD and ECOWAS, the Minister of State said that the financial support fully contributes to ECOWAP’s priority on food sovereignty.

This, he said, is also in line with one of the priority objectives that France intends to support in Africa, as President Emmanuel Macron stated during the French Presidential Development Council

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