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Scaling up Coastal Resilience in West Africa

October 14, 2017

World Bank J Building, J B1-080



Coastal areas in West Africa are under intense pressure from natural and anthropogenic activities that threaten the infrastructure and livelihoods of an ever-increasing coastal population.

The West Africa Coastal Areas (WACA) Resilience Investment Project will be submitted to the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors for approval in March 2018.

This event will highlight the urgency of addressing the causes of coastal erosion and flooding in a sustainable manner and the need for coordination between states, the public and private sectors, and among the various technical and financial partners involved.

A platform for WACA will be announced to crowd in much-needed finance and expertise to address the magnitude of the problem.

  • The West African coastal zone is one of the most rapidly urbanizing areas in the world. It is home to major industries, including agro-industry, fisheries, offshore petroleum exploration and production, and tourism, as well as city and seaside residences. The large population in and net migration to the coast is putting stress on the land, its resources, and the services the ecosystem provides to people.

    • A combination of factors poses risks to economic assets in the coastal zone and people’s livelihoods. A variety of factors is increasing erosion and flooding in coastal West Africa, and putting economic assets, and people’s livelihoods and safety at risk. These phenomena, which disproportionately affect the poorest and most marginalized segments of society, are likely to become more frequent and severe in the future, threatening to undo development gains and inflict large economic losses.
    • Climate change exacerbates coastal flooding. Rapid and often unplanned urbanization causes significant conversion of the natural landscape that once acted as a buffer against erosion and flooding.
    • Countries have started to take action, but a regional approach is needed. Countries need to work together in a coordinated manner, at both the policy and the technical levels, using funding provided to manage priority hotpots.
    • The West Africa Coastal Management Program Areas (WACA) was initiated by the World Bank in response to demand from countries in the region to manage their growing coastal erosion and flooding problems. Its objective is to improve the livelihoods of coastal communities in West Africa by reducing the vulnerability of its coastal areas and promoting climate-resilient integrated coastal management.
    • The World Bank is also proposing to establish a High-level Platform to provide overall strategic guidance, take policy decisions, ensure the coherence of the program’s priorities and act as a Regional Steering Committee.


    Event Objective

    The event aims to bring the issue of coastal vulnerability in West Africa to the attention of participating leaders and the financial community. It presents the need to mainstream coastal resilience in planning and infrastructure development, use a regional approach, foster partnerships and financial solutions to scale-up transformative interventions to help countries develop their coastal areas in a sustainable and climate resilient manner.

  • 9:00 – 9:05 am Opening and Introductions

    • Mr. Makhtar Diop, Vice President, Africa Region, World Bank Group

    9:05 – 9:10 am Keynote address

    • Ms Laura Tuck, Vice President, Sustainable Development, World Bank Group 

    9:10 - 9:25 am Country Perspectives: Coastal challenges and responses

    • H.E. José Didier Tonato, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Benin
    • H.E. Sani Yaya, Minister of Economy and Finance, Togo
    • H.E. Mansour Faye, Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senegal

    9:25 - 9:45 am Perspectives from regional organizations and partners

    • Mr. Jean-Pierre Marcelli, Director for Africa, French Development Agency (AFD), France
    • Mr. Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth, African Development Bank
    • Ms Carla Montesi, Director for West and Central Africa, DEVCO, European Commission

    9:45 – 9:55 am Open discussion

    • Discussion with the audience moderated by Ms Laura Tuck, Vice President, Sustainable Development, World Bank Group 

    9:55 – 10:00 am Closing remarks

    • Laura Tuck, Vice President, Sustainable Development, World Bank Group
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    Makhtar Diop

    World Bank's Vice President for the Africa Region

    Under his leadership, the World Bank committed $9.4 billion to Sub-Saharan Africa in FY 2016 to help tackle development challenges such as increasing food security and agricultural productivity; improving access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy, creating economic opportunities for Africa’s youth; and responding quickly and effectively to emergency situations such as the recent Ebola epidemic. Before taking up this position, Diop was World Bank Country Director for Brazil, based in Brasilia, between January 2009 and April 2012; he previously held the positions of Director of Strategy and Operations, and Sector Director for Finance, Private Sector and Infrastructure, both in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region. Between 2002 and 2005, Mr. Diop was the Bank’s Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia, based in Nairobi. Before joining the World Bank, Mr. Diop worked at the International Monetary Fund, focusing on the Central African Republic. He also served as Minister of Economy and Finance of Senegal. In 2014, Jeune Afrique named him "one of the 50 most influential Africans."


    Laura Tuck

    World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development

    Laura Tuck assumed the position of World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development on July 1, 2015. In this role, she oversees the work of the Global Practices and thematic groups that bring together the best expertise from across the World Bank Group, and from partners, to help countries tackle their most complex challenges in the area of sustainable development. The practices and thematic group under her responsibility include Agriculture; Climate Change; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Transport and ICT; and Water. Before taking this position, Ms. Tuck served for close to two years as Vice President for the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region. During this period, ECA’s lending and advisory services increased substantially, stepping up support for programs and projects aligned with the goals of reducing poverty and increasing shared prosperity. Ms. Tuck joined the World Bank in 1987 as a Young Professional, and worked initially as an Economist in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MNA) and, later, in the ECA Region, as a Lead Economist in the Chief Economist’s Office and then as Sector Manager for Agriculture and Rural Development. Her extensive experience in sustainable development includes a decade leading the Bank’s work in this area in two regions. Between 2002 and 2006 she was the Director for Sustainable Development in ECA and, from 2006 to 2011, she held the same position in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region. She then became Director of Strategy and Operations supporting the Regional Vice President in the MNA region, followed by a stint in the same position in ECA. Before joining the World Bank, Ms. Tuck worked for several consulting firms in the area of agricultural policy, food policy, and food needs assessments. She also served on the faculty of Princeton University as part of a university research project, and worked and lived in Africa between 1980 and 1987. Ms. Tuck has an MPA from Princeton University in Economics and Public Policy and a BA from the University of California at Davis in Economics. She is married and has two grown children.


    Jose Didier Tonato

    Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Benin

    Originally from Grand-popo, Didier Tonato is a town planner. He was a collaborator of the Minister of Planning and Housing Luc Gnacadja. He participated with several other experts in the design of the Guide to the development of the communal development plan in November 2008. He has been the chief urban development planner at the African Development Bank (Bad) since 2003. In 2004, served as UN Habitat program manager for Benin.


    Jean-Pierre Marcelli

    Director for Africa, French Development Agency (AFD), France

    Graduate of the Higher Institute of Overseas Techniques and the Cranfield Institute of Technology. (Ms. "Irrigation and Water Management"), Mr. Marcelli started his career in 1988, at AFD, as a VSN at the AFD agency in Port Louis (Mauritius). The various positions he held during his 25 years at the agency, of which nearly 15 in the network, have led him to work on the whole African continent in both North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa .Prior to his current position, he was Director of the AFD Agency in Cairo for four years. He has an excellent knowledge of AFD's activities in Sub-Saharan Africa, from 2006 to 2010, as Director of the Nairobi Regional Agency, which covers the five countries of the East African Community ( Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda). It has designed and deployed a subregional network of 3 offices (Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda) and prepared the opening of the one in Rwanda. He was also Deputy Director of the Africa Department, Regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa and Southern Africa, and opened the AFD group office in Addis Ababa covering Ethiopia and Eritrea (under the direction of Djibouti) after having been successively in charge of Mission in Djibouti and in charge of Rural Development Mission (agricultural sectors) in Abidjan.


    Sani Yaya

    Minister of Economy and Finance, Togo

    Minister Sani YAYA is a professional in the banking and financial sector. Sani YAYA has 26 years of experience in senior positions including six years at the BCEAO / Banking Commission of WAMU and nearly six years within the Ecobank Group (ETI) where he served as Director of Audit and Compliance and member of the Executive Committee of the Group. He also held the senior positions of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the NSIA group specialized in Insurance and banking and member of the Group's Executive Committee. Prior to his appointment as Minister of Economy and Finance, Sani YAYA was formerly Deputy Minister for the Budget. He held the position of Provisional Administrator of the BTCI. A graduate of CEFEB (Center for Financial, Economic and Banking Studies) in Paris, Sani YAYA holds a DES in Management from the University of Paris 1, Option Banque and a Master of Economics from the University of Lomé.


    Mansour Faye

    Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senegal

    Mansour Faye is a Senegalese politician with a multidisciplinary background. An MBA from the Université du Québec de Montréal to his credit, he has knowledge of techniques, management and administration of organizations. To this day, he holds the position of Minister of Hydraulics and Sanitation in the Mouhamed Dionne government. Its responsibility is to supply drinking water to rural, urban and peri-urban populations. Mansour Faye was also Delegate General for Social Protection and National Solidarity (2012-2014). A post that he had to leave to the advantage of that of Minister of Hydraulics, thanks to his profile of candidate winner of the coalition "Benno Bokk Yaakaar" in Saint-Louis during the last local elections of 2014. Born on May 16 1965 in Saint-Louis of Senegal, Mansour Faye graduated from the Ensait in Dakar and from the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Toulouse. The brother of the first lady of Senegal is also active in several other fields such as poultry farming, building.


    Anthony Nyong

    Director for Climate Change and Green Growth, African Development Bank

    Nyong joined the Bank in 2008 as the pioneer Climate Change Expert and built up the Bank’s first climate change initiatives. He was promoted to the Head the Climate Change, Gender and Sustainable Development Unit. He initiated the Bank’s Green Growth Agenda and worked on developmental issues to unlock the continent’s renewable energy potential. Prior to joining the Bank, he worked as A Senior Program Specialist for the International Development Research Centre, based in the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office in Nairobi as a senior program specialist in climate change from 2006. In this role, Nyong successfully mobilized substantial resources to set up the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program that has significantly built adaptation capacity in Africa. A well-recognized scholar, Nyong was also a Professor of Climate Change at the University of Jos, Nigeria. He has served on the Boards and Committees of several global initiatives on climate change and green growth. He also represented the Bank on the Trust Fund Committee of the Climate Investment Funds and led efforts to deliver a substantial portion of climate investment fund resources to be programmed in Africa, much of which are invested through the African Development Bank. In 2007, Nyong was named a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize as a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr. Nyong, a Nigerian, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Regional Planning from the University of Calabar, Nigeria; a Master’s Degree in Land Surveying from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria; a Ph.D. in Geography (Environment and Natural Resources Management) from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada and a Post Graduate Diploma in Global Business (Energy) from the University of Oxford, UK. He is also a Senior Executive Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA.


    Carla Montesi

    Director for West and Central Africa, DEVCO, European Commission

    Carla Montesi has been Director at the European Commission's Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries since 2009. Initially responsible for fisheries conservation, control and structural actions for the Mediterranean and Black Sea, for the past three years she has piloted maritime policy as well as fisheries and funding for the Baltic Sea, North Sea and Landlocked Member States. From April 2014 Ms Montesi is also Acting Director for the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Formerly a lawyer in Italy who specialised in European affairs at the College of Europe in Bruges, Ms Montesi's earlier career encompassed diverse responsibilities in the field of EU external policy for development and cooperation both at Headquarters and in EU Delegations in Africa, as well as experience in the Cabinet of EU Commissioner Emma Bonino for External Policy and Humanitarian Affairs


  • Date : Saturday October 14, 2017
  • Time : 9:00am – 10:00am
  • Location: World Bank J Building, J B1-080
  • CONTACT: Emanuella Fernandes
  • emanuella@worldbank.org