WASHINGTON, July 21, 2011 - The Board of the World Bank approved the third series of the WAAPP’s first phase on March 24, 2011 to include these six countries with a total financing of US$83.3 million. Liberia’s component of this funding includes a US$6 million credit, and an additional US$8 million grant from the Japan Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) Technical Assistance (TA) Program to support the Rice Research and Productivity Development Program.
This newly approved third series of the Program, known as WAAPP-1C, will also provide specific support to the Mano River Union countries to rebuild their adaptive research and technology transfer capacities. With the inclusion of six new countries – Benin, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Togo – the World Bank’s West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) will contribute to achieving increased economic growth and help reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the sub-region.
“This program which now involves twelve West African countries re-confirms the World Bank’s long-term commitment to generating and disseminating technology and knowledge, building capacity, and fostering regional integration in West Africa,” said Jamal Saghir, the World Bank Director of Sustainable Development for Africa.
The WAAPP is expected to provide a regional framework for ECOWAS countries to collaborate in the implementation of national and regional agricultural strategies for technology generation and dissemination. It will further this collaboration through the development of specialized centers for technology generation and dissemination, which will also serve as regional knowledge-sharing centers.
The four major components of the WAAPP-1C project includes: (i) Enabling conditions for sub-regional cooperation in the generation, dissemination and adoption of agricultural technologies, (ii) Support to national centers of specialization, (iii) Funding of demand driven technology generation and adoption, and (iv) Project coordination, management, monitoring and evaluation.
Launched in 2007, the first phase of WAAPP has already shown successful results in Ghana, Mali and Senegal in setting up centers of specialization for agricultural research and increasing cooperation among researchers and institutions among the participating countries.
The Regional aspect of the program will strengthen the platform for regional policy harmonization. It will provide a regional framework for ECOWAS countries to collaborate in implementing national and regional agricultural strategies for technology generation and dissemination. WAAPP is being implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture of Liberia. Terms of repayment are the standard IDA credit, zero interest rate, 40 years repayment and a 10-year grace period.