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October 1, 2019 – Abidjan – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and West African Fertilizer Association (WAFA) have signed a memorandum of understanding. This took place at the inaugural West Africa Fertilizer Financing Forum which was attended by representatives of financial institutions, ministers, government agencies, fertilizer manufacturers and various stakeholders of the fertilizer industry. The agreement recognizes WAFA as the voice of the fertilizer industry in discussions with ECOWAS and as a partner in developing the fertilizer market in West Africa. The paperwork was signed by Moussa Diabate, President of WAFA, and Sekou Sangare, Commissioner of Agriculture, Environment, and Water Resources, ECOWAS.
The African Development Bank Headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast hosted around 300 delegates who were in attendance from September 30 to October 1, 2019. The two-day event was organised to address the financial challenges of fertilizer players in West Africa and to find concrete solutions that will ensure the growth of the sector. The forum was set up through the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM), a special African Development Bank-administered fund in partnership with WAFA.
In a presentation on behalf of WAFA, the Vice President of WAFA, Dr. Innocent Okuku, explained that the organisation gives a common voice to the private sector and represents more than 85% of fertilizer market in the West Africa region. He shared that the growth of the fertilizer industry has been slow.
“This is what led several players in the private sector to begin to talk as early as 2012 about the need to come together and have a common voice that can engage the public sector in discussing appropriate policies and strategies to execute in order to grow the fertilizer consumption which will contribute significantly to achieving the desired agricultural transformation,” he said.
Earlier in the year, the organisation in collaboration with Argus media brought together more than 250 participants from 40 countries to its annual conference, West Africa Fertilizer Forum (WAFF) which is now in its third year.