ECOWAS Commission, in collaboration with regional experts and member states, commenced a pivotal Regional Workshop aimed at developing strategic action plans for the effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the ECOWAP programme. Hosted at the Newton Park Annex Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria, the workshop which runs from November 27 to December 1, 2023, will assist participants in pursuit of robust improvements in the region’s agricultural development framework.

The workshop was inaugurated by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security of the Republic of Nigeria, Dr Ernest A. Umakhihe represented by Mrs  Kalthume U. Ibrahim Director, Collaboration and Partnership Department of Planning and Policy Coordination of FMARD  who emphasized the need for accelerated agricultural growth. She highlighted past reviews, the importance of better budget management, realistic action plans, and resource mobilization.  stressed aligning efforts with regional goals, spotlighted Nigeria’s agricultural policies, and outlined priority actions for achieving food security, poverty alleviation, and inclusive development.

Mrs. Fatmata Lucia Seiwoh, ECOWAP/CAADP Monitoring&Evaluation Programme Officer, Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), ECOWAS COMMISSION, on behalf of the Director of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Alain Sy Traore presented a comprehensive overview of the workshop’s objectives and the rationale behind the strategic focus on translating recommendations from  National Agricultural Investment Plans M&E implementations, Regional Joint Sector Reviews and Continental Biennial reporting on agricultural growth and transformation into actionable plans.

Mr Koffi Amegbeto, Senior Policy Officer and Programme Delivery Manager, FAO Regional Office for Africa (RAF) highlighted the timeliness of the workshop because of the upcoming adoption of the fourth Biennial Review Report, and several calls for moving from the rhetoric to action, referring to the Political Declaration of world Leaders at the SDG Summit in September 2023. He reiterated the importance of developing action tracks based on evidence from the Biennial and Joint-Sector Reviews, as well as the M&E of National Agriculture Investment Plans.

This technical workshop marks a concerted effort by ECOWAS and its partners especially USAID and FAO to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, fostering sustainable agricultural development and growth throughout the region.