A West African cross border food initiative – the Food Across Borders Programme (ProFAB), has been launched in Accra May 13, 2015.
The initiative of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and supported by the USAID is aimed at increasing food security in West Africa by eliminating barriers to cross-border trade in staple foods. The programme would be implemented by the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and would be coordinated and facilitated by a special unit based at the Hub Rural.
It would also focus on three areas, including improving public policies, increasing information on regional trade and strengthening the voice of private sector and regional organizations.
Speaking at the launch, US Ambassador to Ghana, Gene Cretz noted that the launch was building on an effort that was started in 2013 at the Food Across Borders Forum. The Forum was held to draw attention to the crucial role that regional trade plays in West Africa’s food security, he said.
Mr. Cretz also indicated that it was to draw attention to the crucial role that regional trade will need to play to ensure the long-term resilience of the 365 million residents of West Africa.
“By advancing the implementation of ECOWAS trade policies, ProFAB’s work will make it easier for farmers and business people to complete the transactions necessary to move food across borders,” he said, adding that, “it will increase the volume and speed of food movements, make it easier for the private sector to invest, and increase the efficiency of the market place.”
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi