In Africa, agriculture accounts for 65% of employment and 35% of gross domestic product (GDP), but poverty remains high in rural areas where most of the population depends on agriculture to make a living. By raising farm incomes, generating employment and reducing food prices, agricultural growth can be a transformative tool for poverty reduction.
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of eliminating hunger and poverty, African countries need to prioritize agriculture and rural development in their development agenda. The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) strives to meet these goals by building a food system to feed every West African. Created by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and funded in part by the World Bank, WAAPP is increasing agricultural productivity and sustainability across 13 West African countries to help build a food-secure future.
WAAPP is a multi-year effort to transform West African agriculture by boosting productivity and sustainability, reducing hunger and improving nutrition, creating jobs and supporting collaboration across borders. The 13 participating countries of WAAPP are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The program aims to achieve 6% agricultural growth and increased food production and availability in West Africa. To achieve this goal, WAAPP works with scientists, researchers, extension workers and farmers to:
- Innovate, generate, disseminate and adopt improved technologies
- Create enabling conditions for regional cooperation
- Build human and institutional capacity across the sub-region
- Create youth employment, engage women and adapt to climate change.
ECOWAS and the African Union provided agriculture and rural development frameworks for WAAPP. National Ministries of Agriculture and various producer organizations from participating countries implement and coordinate the program.