Fact Sheets

One of the largest constraints to productivity in West African agriculture is the inefficiency of the regional seed system. In response, the USAID/West African Seed Program (WASP) was initiated in 2012 through USAID’s regional partner, the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD)

Nigeria's education system has not kept pace with the rapid population growth and growing school-age population. The quality of basic education in Nigeria is extremely poor, leading to low demand and unacceptably low academic performance. There are 30 million primary school-aged children in the country, of whom an estimated 10 million are not enrolled in school. 

Fertilizer use in West Africa is far below the world average, leaving farmers without an important input that can significantly improve yields.  The USAID West Africa Fertilizer Program (WAFP), which began in 2012, aims to improve agriculture productivity by giving farmers better access to high quality, affordable fertilizers.

Working together, USAID/West Africa and the Peace Corps leverage investments in training and capacity building in multiple West African countries to extend benefits across the region. Cross-border technical exchanges and regional trainings lead to the dissemination of best practices.

he West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) was created in 1987 to “improve the efficiency and effectiveness of small-scale producers and to promote the agribusiness sector.” It has 21 member states in West and Central Africa: eight in the Sahel, eight in coastal countries and five in Central Africa.

The Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (French acronym: CILSS) was created in response to a devastating drought in the Sahel in 1973. It has 13 official member states, but is currently partnering more closely with ECOWAS, expanding its member base to 17 countries in the region.

The Peace through Development II project (PDEV II) assists communities in Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso to reduce their risk of instability and increase their resilience to violent extremism. PDEV II applies a holistic, community-led approach to address socioeconomic, political and cultural drivers of violent extremism.

Micronutrient deficiencies are responsible for widespread health and economic consequences, including maternal mortality, child mortality, stunting, blindness, chronic anemia, and reduced capacity to work. West Africa is challenged with pervasive severe and chronic malnutrition and pervasive micronutrient deficiency.

The shea industry in West Africa is rapidly expanding. Demand for shea butter produced in the region increased by more than 1,200 percent over the last 10 years. The industry is centered on women; more than 16 million rural women in Africa contribute to their household incomes by collecting shea nuts. 

Established in September 2011, the Borderless Alliance (BA) represents a private sector-led coalition to increase trade in West Africa and foster change by exposing trade inefficiencies throughout the region.

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Last updated: August 21, 2014

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