US$3.9 Million Allocated to Agricultural Development in Central Africa

December 10, 2010

LIBREVILLE, December 10, 2010—The World Bank, through a Multi-donor Trust Fund, provided financial support to the Executive Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), in the amount of US$3.9 Million (or CFAF 1.8 billion) for the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP).

The documents related to this grant agreement were recently submitted to ECCAS Secretary General Louis Sylvain Goma by Rick Emery Tsouck Ibounde, acting World Bank Country Manager for Gabon.

The grant marks the first step in the partnership between ECCAS and the World Bank. It will be implemented over three years and is expected to help build the institutional capacities of the ECCAS General Secretariat, with the recruitment of additional experts in the areas of financial and accounting management, agriculture and rural development, monitoring and evaluation, agricultural databases, specific training, and the purchase of office supplies and equipment. It is also expected to help develop and harmonize the quality of country and regional agricultural investment programs.

“The World Bank is pleased with this grant agreement signed with ECCAS, and hopes that this initial step will serve as the starting point for fruitful and multifaceted cooperation between the two institutions,” Tsouck Ibounde noted.

The envelope will allow ECCAS to develop cross-cutting functions with respect to communication, information, monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, and the necessary technical partnerships, and urge governments, the respective ministries, and technical and financial partners to facilitate access to financing required for the implementation of investment programs.

Investing in Agriculture for Sustained Growth

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program is an initiative of the African Union that seeks to spur the development of the continent through the promotion and development of the agricultural sector. To facilitate its implementation across the continent, several development partners, including the United States through USAID, the European Union, France, Irish Aid, Britain’s Department for International Development, and the Netherlands, have provided support to the program, with the establishment of a multi-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank.

Its implementation is also in line with the World Bank’s support program for integration.

The fund was established to help African states achieve and maintain a sustained annual growth rate of 6 percent, using an agriculture-led development strategy to reduce hunger and poverty, ensure food security, and stimulate exports.

The multi-donor trust fund to support the implementation of the Africa Agriculture Development Program was established at the World Bank in September 2008, and seeks to finance efforts to build the capacities and strengthen the operations of four sub-regional economic institutions— the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), the South Africa Development Community (SADC), and ECCAS —with a view to helping each of these regional bodies establish practical procedures and implementation mechanisms for the CAADP at their sub-regional level.

The 10 member states of ECCAS are Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and São Tomé and Principe.