A team from Vallis recently visited the head office of ECOWAS’s ‘Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food’ in Lome, Togo.
Our delegation included Rob Reay-Jones, Head of Compliance from our UK head office, and Paul Occansey and Stephen Emeka, our Country Managers for Togo and Benin, respectively.
Vallis has been working for this Togo based ECOWAS unit in inspection roles and we met with Egnonto Koffi-Tessio, ‘Coordonnateur de l’Unité de la Réserve Régionale de Sécurité Alimentaire’, Zongo Mohamed, ‘Chef Administratif et Finance’ and Célestin Tiénon ‘Chargé de passation de Marché’.
Some background. In 2013, supported by a grant of €56 million from the European Union, ECOWAS set up a ‘Regional Food Reserve Agency’, to be based in Lome, to plan and prepare for food crises in the region. The agency’s planning is at different levels from national to local and right down to rural communities. It provides knowledge based support with statistical and early alert information and is involved in the provision of logistical services for the holding and transport of food reserves. Initially, 30,000 tonnes of cereals will be the basis for the food reserve programme and its countries of focus are Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Niger, with plans to expand by the end of 2017 to Senegal and Mali.
We were received most cordially and greatly appreciated our time with the ECOWAS team.