The Director of the West African Mission of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Alex Deprez says the support to CORAF and other sub-regional institutions is predicated on the strong belief in Africans solving their challenges.
“We believe in African solutions,” said Deprez while participating in the ongoing 12th General Assembly of Africa’s largest sub-regional research organization in Dakar, Senegal.
“Our vision is one where we move away from aid and assistance to real partnership.”
Speaking soon after being recognized for USAID’s support to CORAF and other regional institutions such as CILSS, ECOWAS, etc. Alex Deprez said, “we support CORAF not only in its important work on technology generation, facilitating the access to markets, trade, ensuring agri-inputs are available to all in need, but also to ensure it becomes a strong and sustainable institution.”
CORAF’s current collaboration with USAID is defined in a new cooperative agreement known as the Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education and Development in West Africa (PAIRED). This five-year program of about USD 15 million USD seeks to strengthen CORAF, scale-up technologies and increase the production and availability of quality agri-inputs.
Actors of CORAF have been meeting in Dakar to discuss and adopt plans that would help West and Central African countries tackle from a research and development lens challenges related to increase population, climate change, high unemployment, nutrition and food insecurity, gender disparities, and migration.
After three days, a consensus was found on approaches and steps to contribute to tackling some of these challenges in the next ten years. At the heart of the strategy is allowing CORAF more room to better coordinate research from a strategic perspective while anticipating challenges that might affect the 23 economies of the region. This is the foundational mandate of research coordination which was assigned to CORAF at inception in 1987.
CORAF Expresses its Thanks to the World Bank
For over a decade now, the World Bank Group has provided a grant to CORAF to coordinate regional research activities in West and now Central Africa. The latest intervention funded by countries through loans from the World Bank is known as the West African Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP).
One of the main architects from the World Bank interacting with CORAF has been Dr. Abdoulaye Toure, Lead Agriculture Economist and Task Team Leader of the WAAPP.
At its General Assembly, CORAF recognized his broader work in support of agriculture research and development in West Africa and to CORAF in particular.
CORAF also acknowledged the work of several top researchers who have helped write the history of research and development in West and Central Africa for many decades. This includes Drs. Adama Traore, Dominique Hounkounnou, Alioune Fall, Ndiaga Mbaye (RIP), Paco Sereme).