ECOWAS Commissioner
Mr Tchambakou Ayassor, a Togolese national, was appointed as new ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources on 11 March 2016. He is no stranger to the West African institutional food security landscape; he worked until 2012 as Director of the UEMOA Agriculture and Food Security Department, co-ordinating the implementation of the Union’s Agricultural Policy (PAU). Before joining the UEMOA Commission in 2005, he worked for five years as a technical advisor to the Togolese Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and also managed as Director-General the Togolese Cotton Company SOTOCO for four years. Mr Ayassor has a long professional experience in rural development. He holds a degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Benin and a master’s degree focusing on plant protection from the University of Connecticut (United States). Mr Ayassor will have to address many challenges during his mandate: The regional community has launched a process of developing a second generation of National Agricultural Investment Programmes (NAIP) and the Regional Agricultural Investment Programme (RAIP). Decisive progress is also expected on the implementation of the Regional Food Security Reserve that is managed by the ECOWAS Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF). Most importantly, Mr Ayassor will have to affirm ECOWAS leadership and must in particular respond to high expectations of West African agricultural producers’ organisations that are pushing towards increased West African financing in the agricultural and food sectors.