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Food security: France signs funding agreements with ECOWAS

The French Development Agency (AFD) has signed two financing agreements totaling €20 million with ECOWAS Commission to support the region’s move to ensure food security.…

The French Development Agency (AFD) has signed two financing agreements totaling €20 million with ECOWAS Commission to support the region’s move to ensure food security.

The two financing agreements totaling €20 million were signed by the President of the ECOWAS Commission HE Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, and the Director of the French Development Agency in Nigeria Mr. Xavier Muron, on May 29 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria.

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.

This additional funding is crucial in the context of a worsening food crisis in the region.

Touray stated that the various technical and financial support provided by France to ECOWAS through the AFD Group had 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 had 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 projects’ 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”, said Ms. Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, French Minister of State for Development, Francophonie, and International Partnerships.

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

This is also in line with one of the priority objectives that France intends to support in Africa, as HE President Emmanuel Macron stated during the French Presidential Development Council on May 5, 2023.

Also present at the meeting was the Ambassador of France to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Emmanuelle Blatmann.

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