West African Perspectives

West African Perspectives


114 pages


West African Perspectives: Resources for Development conducts a cross-cutting analysis of the main development challenges in the region and offers suggestions on how to meet them. It provides an overview of West Africa’s abundant resources , examining not only economic and natural resources but also human, social and cultural capital. Finally, it presents the perspectives of six prominent West Africans involved in the development of their region.



Publié par
Date de parution 15 octobre 2009
Nombre de visites sur la page 32
EAN13 9789264059764
Licence : Tous droits réservés
Langue English

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W est Af r i can Per spect i ves
The OECD is a unique forum where the governments of 30 democracies work together to address the economic, social and enviro nmental challenges of globalisation. The OECD is also at the forefront of efforts to understand and to help governments respond to new developments and concern s, such as corporate governance, the information economy and the challen ges of an ageing population. The Organisation provides a setting where governments c an compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good prac tice and work to co-ordinate domestic and international policies.
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The opinions expressed and arguments employed in th is publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not n ecessarily reflect those of OECD or of the governments of its member countries or those of SWAC, ECOWAS or the European Union.
Also available in French under the title: Cahiers de l’Afrique de l’OuestPerspectives ouest-africainesLES RESSOURCES POUR LE DÉVELOPPEMENT
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Cover illustration: © Daniel Krüger/Grand Krü, Berlin
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The Club du Sahel was created in 1976 at the initiative of OECD member countries in response to the severe droughts effecting the Sahel and the subsequent food crises. In 2001, its Governing Board extended its geographic c overage to include all of West Africa which consists of the fifteen member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as well as Cameroon, Chad a nd Mauritania.
Administratively attached to the OECD, the Sahel an d West Africa Club (SWAC) is led by a Paris-based Secretariat relying on a network o f West African partners and experts as well as OECD member countries. Its specificity lies in its approach combining direct field-level involvement with analyses of the West A frican context.
The SWAC promotes the regional dimension of develop ment, supports the formulation of joint and intergovernmental policies as desired by the countries of the region, and promotes dialogue with OECD countries for a coheren t understanding of the changes and trends taking place in West Africa.
To know more…
TheEconomic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) was created by sixteen 1 countries in Lagos on 29 May 1975. It aims to promote region al integration in all economic activity sectors, in particular industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources and trade as well as within monetary, financial, social and cultural issues.
Over the last few years, ECOWAS has begun a series of institutional reforms the last one being the transformation of its Executive Secre tariat into a Commission in 2006. In operation since 2007, the Commission has nine (9) m embers.
The ECOWAS Executive Secretariat transformation into a Commission required a structural re-organisation and a clear definition o f its areas of expertise thus assuring its effectiveness. This transformation underscores the Commission’s key role in the Community’s institutional system. The Commission is headed by a president who co-ordinates the activities of all of the Community’s institutions. He is responsible for the preparation and implementation of decisions made at the Conference of Heads of State and government as well as the regulations set out b y the Council of Ministers.
The Commission was thus able to re-position itself by improving its organisational structure, its procedures and management, as well a s building its capacities to effectively respond to new challenges and needs for the well-being of the African people.
Priorities were set to refocus of the Commission’s activities programme as well as the co-ordination with the various programmes of region al and continental development organisations and institutions such as the African Union (AU), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), other bodies of the Un ited Nations, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the West African Econom ic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).
For ew or d
While the effects of soaring oil and food prices caus ed concern in 2007-2008, the economic and social impacts in 2008-2009 of the fin ancial crisis remind us that West Africa, like the rest of the world, also faces serious uncertainties in the short- and medium-term.
West Africa is facing great challenges. It needs to feed, house, train and care for a fast-growing population. It has to adapt to an emerging multi-polar globalisation. Migration is making headlines and at the same time the region is experiencing a resurgence of conflicts and the emergence of new crises. In view of these challenges, we thought it appropriate to analyse West African resources: How has the region developed this capital so far? What are its prospects with regard to future challenges?
To answer these questions, a long-term perspective analysis of its resources is needed. Societies need outlooks and shared visions in order to progress. Leaders need to mobilise populations around resources on which to build a common future. The Sahel and West Africa Club/OECD and the Economic Co mmunity of West African States have therefore decided to document regional realities of West Africa which are set out in this joint publication for a broader pub lic.
This report is not a prospective study, but rather a diagnosis that can be useful for all actors. It focuses on description and analysis rath er than prescription and aims to reflect the various situations and opportunities ra ther than define the conventional way of thinking. The report also includes the opinions and visions of well-known West Africans actively involved in the region. Their con tributions provide useful inputs on the ways to address the challenges of sustainable and fair management of the region’s extensive resources.
The report has two clear conclusions:
Firstly, West African social, cultural and human ca pital should be considered as important as natural and economic capital. Furtherm ore, thanks to West Africa’s extraordinary creative and innovative force, this s ocial, cultural and human capital can become a pillar of the region’s development plans a nd strategies.
Secondly, regional co-operation – or the combining of countries’ interests and the pooling of their strengths – is a powerful tool by which resources can be optimised. Substantial progress has been made in infrastructure (electricity and gas networks, roads, telecommunications, etc.) and in combating s erious pandemics. Promising prospects are taking shape in other areas.
However, regional co-operation is still under-explo ited and is still far from taking hold. It should though enable the population to move freely, to train, receive healthcare, obtain
supplies, set up businesses or workshops, transfer funds, invest, do business as well as promote art and cultural works.
As national interests often vary, it is difficult for West Africa to present a unified front in the international arena. The recent EPA negotiation s are a good example. If we all had to be the same to form alliances and co-operate, th e EU, NAFTA and ASEAN would not exist. West Africa’s capital lies in the diversity of its populations. It must build its identity on that which unites it rather than on what can div ide it, in particular the different resources of each individual country.
This report does not seek to set out proposed respo nses but aims to provide food for thought based on facts rather than prevailing ideol ogies or perceptions. If it helps to gradually replace the still often widespread, dark image of the region by the depiction of vitality and creativity that is promoted today by W est Africa’s youth or music, for example, it will not have been in vain.
Normand LAUZON Director of the SWAC/OECD
Dr. Mohamed Ibn CHAMBAS President of the ECOWAS Commission
Acknow l edgem ent s
Thisreport has been produced by a Sahel and West Africa Club team under the guidance of a joint ECOWAS/SWAC editorial committee .
The SWAC editorial teamwere:
Michel Colin de VerdièreChristophe PerretRaymond Weber
The joint ECOWAS/SWAC editorial committeewas co-chaired by Professor Lambert Ngaladjo Bamba, Commissioner responsible for ECOWAS macroeconomic policies, and Normand Lauzon, SWAC Director. It consisted of Antoine Kouassi and Kalilou Sylla of ECOWAS, in addition to the editorial team. They met three times: in December 2007 in Ouagadougou, in February 2008 in Cotonou and in October 2008 in Ouagadougou.
The interviewswere carried out by the organisation Inter-réseaux Développement rural (www.interreseaux.org). They were coordinated by Anne Perrin with the co llaboration of Mathilda Asante, Eyoun Ngangué, Ibrahima Sané and S eydou Yattara.
The scientific committeewere Mamadou Diouf, John Igué and Philippe Hugon.
The report was also the subject of two expert works hops held in Cotonou in February 2008 and Ouagadougou in October 2008.
The Cotonou expert meetingf(February 2008) brought together representatives o ECOWAS and the SWAC, as well as Ms. Cléopâtre Kabla n and Messrs. Yade Mbaye, Mamadou Cissokho, Luis Silva Rui, Daniel Djedje, So uleymane Yeo, Madièye Mbodj, Cheikh Oumar Sissoko, Aman Justin Seka, Sunday Ajulo, Abayomi Akinyeye, John Igué, Amadou Diop, Abdoulaye Zonon and Babaly Sall.
The Ouagadougou expert meeting(October 2008) brought together representatives from ECOWAS and the SWAC, as well as Ms. Cléopâtre Kablan and Messrs. Vincent Adja, Lassina Bakayoko, Mamadou Dansokho, Mamadou Gueye, Mohamed Gueye, Mohamadou Magha, Idrissa Mohammed Ouedraogo, Salifo u Tiemtoré, Roch Yao Gnabeli and Abdoulaye Zonon.
The report has benefited from the followingad hoc contributions: John Igué (case studies on the informal sector); Christian Kingombe , Federica Marzo, Henri-Bernard Solignac-Lecomte and Lucia Wegner, in particular on the analysis and statistical