Capacity building

Regional Agricultural Policy (Ecowap): ECOWAS launches a performance audit

Regional Agricultural Policy (Ecowap): ECOWAS launches a performance audit

In the context of its mandate to provide the ECOWAS Council of Ministers with assurance of the proper use of resources made available to the Community, the Office of the Auditor General of the ECOWAS Commission officially launched the performance audit of the implementation of the Regional Agricultural Policy (Ecowap) on November 16, 2023, in Lomé, Togo..

"The agricultural sector remains the cornerstone of the socio-economic development of the region. In this regard, it is necessary to give it all the attention and means necessary for its emergence," recalls the Auditor General, His Excellency João Alage Mamadu Fadia. "The objective of periodically reviewing performance audits of our Regional Agricultural Policy is therefore to understand the functioning of its implementation and to assess whether the resources (financial, human, and material) allocated to it are sufficient," he continued..

For this exercise, ECOWAS has enlisted the expertise of an external audit firm, PwC. This audit, which will last until January 2024, was launched in the presence of the Resident Representative of ECOWAS in Togo, His Excellency Barros Bacar Banjai, the Director of Agriculture and Rural Development of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Alain Sy Traoré, the Director of Performance Audit of the Office of the Auditor General, Mr. Francis Kotobridja, PwC experts, and the Executive Director of ARAA, Mr. Ousseini Salifou, and his team.

As a reminder, Ecowap was adopted in January 2005 in Accra, Ghana. It serves as the reference framework for the development of the agro-silvopastoral and fisheries sector in West Africa. It was revised in 2015 through the Strategic Orientation Framework (COS) for the period 2016-2025, to address new cross-cutting issues such as climate change, nutrition, and gender.

Its operationalization is based on the National Agricultural Investment and Food Security and Nutrition Programs (PNIASAN) implemented at the national level by countries through the ministries of agriculture on the one hand, and on the Regional Agricultural Investment and Food Security and Nutrition Program (PRIASAN) at the regional level under the coordination of the ECOWAS Commission on the other hand. Ecowap is also implemented by other actors such as regional and international institutions and organizations, farmer organizations, NGOs and associations, the private sector, civil society, etc. Its funding is provided by the ECOWAS Commission's own funds, through the Regional Fund for Agriculture and Food (FRAA) for PRIASAN, and by national budgets for PNIASAN with the support of technical and financial partners in the region based on specific projects.

Established in 2011, the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (ARAA) is mandated to ensure the technical execution of regional investment programs and plans contributing to the operationalization of the Regional Agricultural Policy by relying on regional institutions, bodies, and actors with proven expertise. With its approach primarily built on "do-to-do," ARAA plays more of a coordinating, supervisory, mentoring, facilitating, and networking role.