The West and Central Africa Office (WCAO) in Dakar, Senegal, officially opened in the summer of 2011. Beyond leading IFPRI’s research and outreach efforts in the region, WCAO also helps to coordinate the Institute’s support for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP)
Six African countries held CAADP roundtables in 2011 and signed compacts, bringing the total number of countries with signed compacts to 29. IFPRI research on agricultural and investment options for poverty reduction fed into the roundtables for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, and Zambia.
WCAO’s role in supporting the CAADP agenda shifted in 2011, from providing technical support to the African Union Commission and regional economic communities to focusing more on capacity strengthening and policy research using tools, indicators, and models, namely the African Growth and Development Policy (AGRODEP) Modeling Consortium and the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS). AGRODEP and ReSAKSS work is carried out jointly with IFPRI’s Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division and its Development Strategy and Governance Division, respectively.
WCAO launched a new publication series called “Thematic Research Notes,” which includes contributions from leading experts within and outside of IFPRI on a specific policy research topic. The first issue in the series—Foreign Direct Investment in Land in West Africa—was published in December 2011 and analyzed trends in investment volumes and flows, recommended ideal conditions for mutually beneficial deals, and identified where more information is needed to make smart decisions.