Reviving the West Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance

Several actors from West Africa’s agriculture and environment sectors have met online to revive the region’s Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance (CSA). At a virtual event convened by CORAF, more than 40 participants recognized the CSA Alliance’s criticality to evidence-based decision making. 

Created in 2015 in Bamako, Mali, the CSA alliance is a multistakeholder initiative that serves as a coordination platform through which actors can have an open dialogue to align initiatives better and harmonize efforts to scale up climate-smart interventions.

Lofty as it may sound, experts at the online meeting agreed that since inception, the CSA initiative in West Africa has not functioned as intended. They nevertheless decided to revive it to support evidence-based decision making. 

“I am so delighted to note that everyone is happy that we revitalize the Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance,” noted Prof. Abdulai Jalloh, Director of Research and Innovation at CORAF, at the closing ceremony of the half-day virtual event.

How do You Achieve That?

West and Central now have an opportunity to revamp the alliance through the CAADPXP4 project. Funded by the European Union and administered by IFAD, the CAADPXP4 project aims at enhancing collaboration between the various actors involved in the food system across Africa. 

“One of the key activities of the CAADPXP4 project is the mapping of climate-smart agriculture projects in West Africa. We hope to use this process to revamp the alliance,” said Prof. Jalloh.

  • Also read the concept note of the event

A Delighted ECOWAS 

The continental food and nutrition agenda is implemented in West Africa through the agriculture policy (ECOWAP) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Present at the virtual event were two senior officials of the Directorate of Agriculture, Environment, and Water Resources of the ECOWAS Commission.

“We all agree that the session has been an important one for us. We reflected on the genesis of CSA and the need to revive the important platform to continue dialogue and sharing of national and regional knowledge as well as ensuring policy mainstreaming in development,” reflected Dr. Johnson Boanuh, Director of Environment at ECOWAS, at the closing ceremony.

“We are encouraged that this platform will be very relevant in terms of taking agriculture research to another level. We need to strengthen the link between research and policy — that is how you enhance resilience in the region.”

The CSA Alliance brings together researchers, decision-makers, farmer groups, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, and the private sector.

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