Livestock in coastal countries
The fourth high-level meeting on “Peaceful transhumance and livestock mobility in the Sahel and West African coastal countries” was held by ECOWAS from 27-29 September 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Livestock ministers from across the region endorsed the funding modalities to establish the Regional Investment Programme for Livestock Development in Coastal Countries (PRIDEC), targeting the livestock sector of five coastal countries (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo). PRIDEC is designed to complement the Regional Support Project for Pastoralism in the Sahel (PRAPS), which was established with the support of the World Bank, and covers six Sahelian countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal). The livestock sector is 15% of the GDP of Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger. Transhumance also plays a role in developing and stabilising vast areas of the Sahel. However, the Sahelian livestock sector cannot evolve in isolation and must be linked to the coasts. A cross-border transhumance axis must be seen as a “community public good.” Governments and their partners must thus strengthen structural investments in order to make functional infrastructure and facilities to support pastoralism and cross-border transhumance. They also need to consolidate policies and social dialogues on livestock and the governance of agro-pastoral resources at local, national and regional levels. PRIDEC aims to promote greater policy coherence and efficiency in operational implementation. Participants discussed national components of the programme and co-ordination mechanisms at the regional level. They recommended launching a mapping study to localise the many programmes and initiatives already underway. They called upon ECOWAS to provide strong leadership and revitalise the ECOWAS task force on livestock and pastoralism in order to develop a clear long-term vision for how the livestock sector in the ECOWAS area should develop and the role of transhumance within that development. The event was hosted by the Ivoirian Ministry of Animal and Water Resources and organised with the support of the Billital Maroobé Network (RBM), a regional network of livestock farmers’ associations aimed at promoting pastoralism at the national and regional levels. It also benefitted from the support of CILSS, The Rural Hub, the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) and many other partners. The fifth regional meeting is scheduled to take place in September 2018 in Bamako, Mali.