The FAO Sub-regional Office for West Africa, designated by the acronym SFW, was created in August 2006 and was inaugurated in March 2007.
The SFW office is based in Accra, Ghana to serve as the focal point for FAO activities in the West African Sub-region as well as establishing and maintaining close relationships and collaboration with national institutions and partners and sub-regional economic communities, organisations and agencies.
The role of SFW is the major justification for both country and sub regional activities requested by Member States and their supra national integration entities related to agriculture, food security and rural development. As the focal point for addressing sub region-wide food and agriculture issues, SFW plays a critical role in maintaining and building and managing collaborative relations with Country Representations and constructive partnership with sub region-wide development organizations. In providing technical assistance and advice to Member Countries and partners, SFW ensure the provision of services of technical officers, specialists and consultants for short assignments.
In addition, SFW ensures a multi-disciplinary approach to programmes; identifying priority areas of action for the Organization in the Sub Region and, in close collaboration with FAORs, Technical Departments and Divisions at headquarters as well as the Regional Multi Disciplinary Teams; the Sub-regional Office advises on the incorporation of such priorities into the Organization's Programme of Work and Budget (PWB); implementing approved programmes; and monitoring and evaluating the level of progress and the impacts of programme implementation.
SFW Vision: Help ECOWAS members to reduce poverty promote food security and curb marginalization.
SFW Mission: To contribute to enhance the capacity of member countries to halve the proportion of food insecure and impoverished by 2015 by significantly increasing food availability, accessibility and utilization on a sustainable basis without sacrificing the natural resource-base while reducing the inequities between gender and between social groups and agro-ecological zones.
SFW overarching goal: Achieve, by 2015, sustained rural poverty reduction and food security through a broad-based growth in agricultural production, productivity and diversification as well as household incomes, with a focus on small-holders and vulnerable groups while thoroughly addressing the pervasive gender inequities, the marginalization of minority groups as well as the inequalities between territories, areas and countries.
SFW programme of work and budget is financed by Member Nations, who contribute according to levels set by the FAO Conference. Its activities cover internal operations, including support for fieldwork, advice to governments on policy and planning, and a wide range of development needs. It is carried out by a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) made up of SFW Technical Officers and FAO Representatives working in the areas relating to:
- Animal production & health
- Crop production & protection
- Field programme development
- Fisheries & aquaculture
- Food security & nutrition
- Land & water resources management
- Policy assistance
- Information, communication and knowledge management
- Gender and youth
Core Functions of SFW
- Monitoring and Assessment of medium and long term trends and perspectives.
- Gathering and provision of information, knowledge and statistics.
- Policy and Strategy Options and advice
- Technical support to promote technology transfer and build capacity
- Advocacy and communication
- Interdisciplinary and innovation
- Building partnerships and alliances
- Performances assessment / monitoring and evaluation