reviewed & published
Peer learning from IGAD to ECOWAS
Mission to ECOWAS from 31 May to 8 June 2012

An Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) mission, facilitated by FAO, visited the Economic Community for Western Africa States (ECOWAS) Region from 31 May to 8 June 2012.


The mission was part of a peer learning exercise for a Regional Team of consultants supporting IGAD in the formulation of its Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Compact and investment plan for the Horn of Africa (HoA). 

ECOWAS is the only Regional Economic Organization that has successfully achieved the development of its Regional CAADP and the related investment plan. Moreover all countries have already signed their national compacts and investment plans are underway. ECOWAS is now moving forward to implementation.


Mission objectives: The main purpose of the mission was to meet, discuss and learn from the ECOWAS experience in developing and implementing a regional CAADP compact and investment plan.


Main findings and recommendations from the mission:

Technical aspects for IGAD CAADP process

  • During the development of both ECOWAP/CAADP and investment plan, ECOWAS managed  to bring together key stakeholders including non state actors in particular farmers organisations and civil society that actually had an influence on the processes. The inclusion of NSAs from the very beginning allowed strong ownership at national and regional levels. Whereas for IGAD, so far there has been broad participation of stakeholders during national dialogues, but more effort is needed to bring on board regional stakeholders, e.g. the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), the East African Business Council, etc. 
  • At the moment, the validation of the IGAD regional CAADP is planned to take place at the regional workshop in which key stakeholders will be invited to participate. Following the experience of ECOWAS, it would be better to have the document validated in each of the seven IGAD member states before the regional workshop. This will further increase country ownership, and strengthen the chances of countries committing to implement the regional priorities. 
  • ECOWAS relied on empirical analysis to support its member states in developing credible regional and national CAADPs and investment plans that provided current state of food security and determined the available options in terms of priority setting. In IGAD only three of the seven countries have carried out empirical analyses to inform the design of their NAIPs. The team recommends that such analyses be carried out for the other member states. In addition, quantitative analysis on growth and investment options should be carried out for IGAD as a region. IFPRI has skills to support IGAD in this area, under the auspices of the Technical Consortium.
  • Governance, Coordination, and Monitoring and Evaluation aspects should be included at very early stage of the development of the Regional Policy. For ECOWAS, the M&E framework came much later. IGAD can improve on this by planning early. An integrated M&E system will be needed to track and report on progress in implementing the IGAD regional CAADP, and should be linked to national M&E systems for the NAIPs.
  • For ECOWAS processes were as important as the policy development itself including technical part of it. Process needs to be well and strategically prepared, taking into account human resources, communication, participation, ownership, timing and capacity-building.


For IGAD Management

  • To bring on board and commit all the member states, IGAD needs to elaborate and carry out studies on specific topics and regularly organize high-level meetings to discus the results and the way forward.
  • Mobilizing and ensuring continuous political support by IGAD Heads of State and Government, as well as Ministers of Agriculture in the region will be key to the success of IGAD CAADP. In ECOWAS, the council of Ministers of Agriculture is a strong platform to address emerging issues in the Sahel region as well as to respond to needs of individual member states.
  • IGAD will need to consider pursuing with its members states, a funding mechanism similar to ECOWAS, that is, applying a small levy on imported goods into the IGAD region. This will lead to financial autonomy needed to be proactive in tackling the development issues in the region.


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