West African Rice Sector: Strategic Meeting in Ouagadougou between CIP-RIZ-AO and the UEMOA Commission
On August 14, 2023, in Ouagadougou, a significant milestone was marked for the West African rice sector. A delegation from the Coordination of Interprofessional Rice Associations of West Africa (CIP-RIZ-AO), led by Dr. Pascal GBENOU, was received in an audience at the headquarters of the UEMOA Commission. Accompanying Dr. GBENOU were Georges Mr. KIENOU, President of the Interprofessional Rice Committee of Burkina Faso (CIR-B), and Mr. Aurelien LAKOUSSAN, Coordinator of the Regional Rice Farmers’ Framework of ROPPA.
The warm welcome was provided by Mr. Amadou MBODJ, Director of Agriculture of the UEMOA Commission, and Mr. Goumbo THIAM, Head of the Agricultural Sectors Promotion Division of the UEMOA Commission. At the heart of this courtesy visit was the follow-up of a funding request for the implementation of the 2023-2025 Action Plan of the CIP-RIZ-AO. This strategic, ambitious, and visionary plan aims to transform the rice sector in West Africa by improving rice production, processing, and marketing.
During this audience, discussions were varied and in-depth. They focused on the progress of the funding request, the possibilities for closer collaboration between CIP-RIZ-AO and the UEMOA Commission, as well as the strategic importance of the rice sector in food security and poverty reduction in UEMOA member countries. The meeting was also an opportunity to underline the importance of the rice sector, not only as a pillar of food security but also as a driver of employment and economic development in a region where agriculture is a key sector of the economy.
The outcome of this meeting is promising. Both parties expressed their satisfaction and laid the foundations for a solid and lasting partnership. This collaboration aims to strengthen the capacity of the CIP-RIZ-AO to play a leading role in promoting competitive and sustainable rice farming, and to ensure a prosperous future for the millions of rice farmers in the region. By warmly welcoming the delegation from the CIP-RIZ-AO, the UEMOA Commission signals its intention to provide strong institutional support for the rice sector, thus contributing significantly to achieving rice self-sufficiency in the UEMOA region.
Communication and Knowledge Management Officer