Impacts through policies and partnerships

F. Fiondella
Outcomes & Impacts

A new climate-smart agriculture alliance for West Africa

West Africa
Priorities and Policies for CSA

Many West African governments were interested in with climate-smart agriculture but were unsure about the best way to develop policies that would assist the agricultural community to confront climate change. In 2015, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which comprises 15 countries, used CCAFS-generated knowledge to guide the framing of a West Africa climate-smart alliance.

In the lead up to a high-level forum to develop climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in West Africa, ECOWAS tasked CCAFS to develop a framework document to inform its discussions. Staff in the CCAFS West Africa office were active participants in the forum’s technical team. This involvement led to the preparation of background material on climate-smart agriculture and its implications for agriculture in the West Africa region. ECOWAS aims to integrate public policy instruments into its Regional Agricultural Investment Program to adapt West African agriculture to climate change through climate-smart agriculture.

S. Toure (CCAFS-WA)

The forum took place in Bamako, Mali, on 15–18 June 2015. The CCAFS contribution guided ECOWAS and other West African stakeholders in designing a suitable CSA alliance and an implementation framework that fits well with the West Africa Regional Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP).

One of the major outputs of the collaboration was an analysis of the existing knowledge on the state of climate-smart agriculture in West Africa, as well as its future. The paper, ‘Overview of the Scientific, Political and Financial Landscape of Climate-Smart Agriculture in West Africa’, covers the sub-sectors of crop production, livestock, fisheries, water and forestry/agroforestry. It was written in collaboration with a number of CGIAR Centers (IWMI, IFPRI, ILRI, ICRAF and ICRISAT), the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

“We speak more and more about intelligent economics, intelligent governance, and now we are speaking about intelligent agriculture” Modibo Keita, Prime Minister of Mali

At the forum, contributing scientists gave keynote addresses to assist in the discussions. The ultimate aim was to see equitable national food system policies enacted that take into consideration climate-smart practices and strategies.

As a way of contributing to this process, the ECOWAP/CAADP Intervention Framework for the Development of CSA was officially adopted and launched. The Framework supports the essential inter-sectoral approach among the agriculture, environment and climate change, and water and energy sectors to establish climate-smart agriculture. ECOWAS and its member countries are now effectively mainstreaming CSA into regional and national agricultural plans and policies. The West Africa CSA Alliance will support the implementation of the Framework, allowing progress to be made towards improving the lives of millions of farming households in West Africa.