Alliance for climate-smart agriculture launched in West Africa

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Malian Prime Minister, ECOWAS and their partners. Photo: Sekou Toure (CCAFS West Africa)
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The Alliance for Convergence and Coordination of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) Initiatives was launched. A high-level forum of CSA Stakeholders in West Africa served as the framework.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) wishes to include a new types of public policy instrument in its regional agriculture promotion policy, so-called climate-smart agriculture support instruments.

The aim: to increase productivity and farm incomes sustainably and equitably, to enhance adaptation and resilience to climate variability and change, and control and/or reduce greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible and appropriate.

This requires an intervention approach tailored to the specificities of the region, the needs expressed by the countries themselves, and the characteristics of the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) scientific, institutional, policy and financial landscape in West Africa.

To this end, ECOWAS, with its partners, including the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), on 18 June 2015 launched a West African Alliance to support the implementation of this Framework for Action, through convergent and coordinated initiatives.

The West African Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture is the consultation, coordination, convergence, funding and monitoring framework of the CSA framework for action of ECOWAS Agricultural Policy ECOWAP/ CAADP. It is a voluntary and non-binding, participatory and inclusive multi-stakeholder partnership framework. As such it brings together a group of legal persons from the public, private or association sector, with an international, continental, regional, cross-border or national mandate.

Furthermore, the alliance is involved in CSA development in West Africa as a beneficiary or partner, ready to include their CSA initiatives (strategies, policies, programs, projects, etc.) in the orientations and priorities of the CSA Framework for Action of ECOWAP/CAADP, and contribute through their initiatives to achieve its objective by 2025.

The objective of the Alliance is therefore to support the implementation of the CSA Framework for Action of ECOWAP/CAADP by providing a consultation, coordination, convergence, funding and monitoring framework for initiatives by members of the Alliance.

4 convergence focus areas

The alliance has 4 convergence focus areas, each with its own working group:

1: Support CSA ownership, planning, implementation, funding and monitoring-evaluation in agricultural investment programs at different levels of public action (local, national, cross-border, regional) by ensuring greater gender equality and inclusion of young people and vulnerable groups in access to productive resources for CSA. In this focus area, the working group is "Investments for CSA";

2: Strengthen inter-sector coherence, inter-institutional dialogue, and inter-level coordination of agricultural investment programs for CSA. In this focus area, the working group is "Institutions for CSA";

3: Increase resource mobilization for CSA in agricultural investment programs. In this focus area, the working group is "Resources for CSA";

4: Enhance coordination and convergence of CSA technical, scientific, institutional, policy and financial initiatives in the strategic orientations and operational priorities of agricultural investment programs (establishment of multi-actor partnership frameworks). In this focus area, the working group is "Partnerships for CSA".

Composition of the Alliance

The composition of the Alliance is as follows:

  • Members of the Alliance: They ensure implementation and monitoring of their individual initiatives that help to implement the Framework for Action;
  • Working groups of the Alliance: They help to coordinate and ensure convergence of initiatives for implementation of the Framework for Action. Their goal is to strengthen technical, institutional and financial coordination and convergence of the initiatives of members of the Alliance in the implementation of the Framework for Action;
  • Annual meeting of Alliance members: It is the consultation and collective monitoring framework for implementation of the Framework for Action;
  • Steering Committee of the Alliance: It is the management and monitoring-evaluation mechanism of the Framework for Action;
  • Facilitation Unit of the Alliance: It is the facilitation framework for consultation, coordination, convergence, implementation, monitoring and management of the Framework for Action. Its objective is to support the activities and operation of the Alliance and its organs (working groups, annual meeting of members, steering committee).