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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04ACCRA2402
2004-12-09 17:27:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Accra
Cable title:  

OFFICIAL-INFORMAL

Tags:   AMGT  AGRICULTURE  ECOWAS 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS ACCRA 002402 

SIPDIS

FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY NEWMAN, AF/RSA, AF/EPS FROM
AMBASSADOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT AGRICULTURE ECOWAS
SUBJECT: OFFICIAL-INFORMAL

REF: SECSTATE 246520

Request for ESF Funding: The Problem
--------------------------------------------- ---------------
-----


1. Despite the generous provisions of the Africa Growth and
Opportunity Act (AGOA), West Africa is still unable to take
advantage of the Act to export significant quantities and
variety of fresh produce to the U.S. because of non-
compliance with USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service
(APHIS) Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary (SPS) regulations that
are designed to stop pests and diseases from entering the
U.S. Before increased trade to the U.S. from Africa can
occur, the fifteen member states of the Economic Community
of West African States (ECOWAS) need to develop and apply
uniform and appropriate SPS standards for the region.



2. With support, ECOWAS could harmonize standards for the
West Africa region. The largely Francophone member states
of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)
Africa have already begun to develop improved and uniform
SPS standards, but the remaining seven ECOWAS states,
including Nigeria which is by far the largest economy in the
region, are not part of this effort. Only ECOWAS has the
authority to harmonize standards across all of West Africa;
however, it lacks capacity.



3. ECOWAS has demonstrated that it can implement comparable
Regional Agricultural Policy to the entire ECOWAS region,
with help from the USAID-supported Permanent Interstate
Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS). ECOWAS
has also developed two successful energy programs - West
Africa Gas Pipeline and the West Africa Power Pool - that
establish and implement cross-border policies and standards.

Proposed Activity


--------------------------





4. The funds will be used for medium-term capacity building
support to ECOWAS in the area of Sanitary and Phytosanitary
Regulations. Specifically, they will allow ECOWAS to hire
and equip an expert in this area for a two-year period. The
incumbent would help ECOWAS develop and adopt an appropriate
set of SPS regulations for the entire region. The incumbent
selected should also be able to provide ECOWAS with a
limited level of support in coordinating biotechnology
issues, another area of tremendous interest to ECOWAS that
they are developing with regional technical networks, but in
which they lack technical capacity. This would complement
other medium-term assistance that we plan to give to ECOWAS
in the area of biotechnology. Finally, the incumbent would
support and coordinate national-level agribusiness proposals
that include promoting exports to the U.S. and EU, such as
one currently being contemplated by Ghana for its MCA
compact.

Mechanism


--------------------------




5. A mechanism already exists in the form of a PIO Grant to
the World Bank for making USAID funds available to ECOWAS to
implement this program, given that ECOWAS is not yet in a
position to directly administer USAID funds. Through the
West Africa Trade Hub, funded by the Presidential TADE
Initiative, USAID is already providing support to WAEMU and
to national governments in the area of SPS. In addition an
APHIS specialist provided by USDA is located in USAID/WARP
with a mandate to develop Pest Risk Assessments for various
crops that could be exported from the region to the U.S.

ESF Request


--------------------------




6. ESF Request: $400,000 is requested for this two-year
program. This amount includes salary for the expert, a
locally hired program assistant, related office equipment
and resources to hold a limited number of workshops in the
non-WAEMU countries to which the SPS standards need to be
extended.
YATES