The Sahel and West Africa Week is an annual event which gathers Members, partners and networks of the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC). It has become a major reference for the region’s development stakeholders and is a a unique space for the informal exchange of experiences, joint analyses, debates, networking and building partnerships. 

The 2015 edition of the Week was held at Expo Milano from 26-30 October at the invitation of the ­European Union. The Week raised public awareness of the Expo’s theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” from a West African perspective. 

Focusing on food security and resilience the debates drew attention to:  


Raise awareness of West African experiences and particularly the role of women in building resilience and sustainability.


Share innovative thinking and approaches to promoting regional food and nutrition security.


Strengthen linkages between regional food security policies and practices and relevant inter­national policy processes.

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The Week brought together regional organisations, representatives from West African governments and OECD countries, civil society, professional associations, research centres, international organisations, multi-lateral and bi­lateral agencies, and the media.


A unique global opportunity

From May to October 2015, Milan welcomed more than twenty million visitors at the universal exposition. This global event, gathering some 145 countries, the UN, the EU and a growing number of corporate and non-profit organisations, is a platform to exchange best practices and shared solutions on issues such as food, nutrition and sustainability, which are of fundamental importance for West Africa.

The Expo represented a unique opportunity for stakeholders and partners to showcase their achievements and to share knowledge on the key issues, persisting challenges, potential and resources that exist to improve food and nutrition security and increase resilience.  It also provided a platform to promote West Africa on the international policy agenda.

Since its creation in 1976, the Sahel and West Africa Club has been a key figure in the work on food security in the region. The OECD hosts the SWAC Secretariat and is an official participant of the Expo. The Week is part of the official programme of the 2015 European Year for Development and took place during Food Security Month, a thematic month of the European Year for Development.  


The Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) is an international platform for policy dialogue and analysis devoted to regional issues in West Africa. Its mission is to enhance the effectiveness of regional policies and of partner support in the common and interdependent area composed of the 17 countries of ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS. Created in 1976, it is the only international entity entirely dedicated to regional issues in West Africa.

More than 100 stakeholders participate in the SWAC platforms: governments of West African countries and OECD member countries, regional organisations, professional associations and civil society groups, bi- and multi-lateral development partners and research centres.

Under the guidance of SWAC Members, the SWAC Secretariat facilitates dialogue, knowledge-sharing and consensus-building; provides independent and factual analysis; and devises policy recommendations and guidelines. The SWAC Secretariat also ensures the co-ordination of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) and the Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR), and works with Members in supporting their initiatives and their engagement for the development of the region. 

The SWAC Secretariat is a special entity of the OECD and seeks to apply the rigorous working and management methods of the Organisation in its work. Thanks to being hosted at the OECD, the Secretariat can make the voice of West Africa heard in global fora and facilitates access to these for West African policy makers. > find out + 


What is the RPCA?
The Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) is an international network for co-operation and co-ordination in the field of food and nutrition security, and resilience. Based on consultation, dialogue and analysis, the Network brings together the region’s food security stakeholders to discuss food security issues and prevent and manage possible food crises. ECOWAS and UEMOA provide political leadership, the CILSS Executive Secretariat and the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat are in charge of the technical facilitation of the Network. At the occasion of World Food Day a film dedicated to the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) was launched. The objective is to raise awareness about the success of the Network, which for 30 years has been engaged in the fight against food and nutrition insecurity in the Sahel and West Africa > find out +  


‌What is AGIR?
The Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR)  - Sahel and West Africa, is a frame­work that helps to foster improved synergy, coherence and effectiveness in support of resilience initiatives across the 17 Sahelian and West African countries. Building on the “Zero Hunger” target within the next 20 years,  AGIR stakeholders have adopted a Regional Roadmap specifying the objectives and main orientations of the Alliance. On this basis, countries are defining National Resilience Priorities, including operational frameworks for funding, implementation, monitoring and assessment. The Alliance is placed under the political and technical leadership of ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS. The SWAC Secretariat provides technical support and plays a key role in facilitation, lobbying and advocacy for the Alliance. > find out +




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