Scoping conference on regional trade and investment in West Africa
On January 27, 2016, a consortium of knowledge institutes composed of the African Studies Centre Leiden, LEI Wageningen University and Research Centre, and the European Center for Development Policy Management organized a scoping conference on the theme of regional trade and investment in West Africa.
The consortium has recently started a scoping study, titled “Improving the perspective for regional trade and investment in West Africa: the key to food security, economic development and stability in the region?”. The study is commissioned by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and funded by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP). The overall objective of the scoping study is to provide a comprehensive picture of the Netherlands’ Government ongoing cooperation with West Africa and the perspective in terms of policy options for strengthening its effectiveness and coherence by giving more emphasis to the promotion of intraregional trade and investment in West Africa.
In order to identify knowledge gaps and needs, and to generate meaningful input in support of this scoping study, the ASCL, LEI and ECDPM organized the scoping conference, bringing together representatives from the consortium partners, MFA, F&BKP, as well as a selected number of other experts from diverse backgrounds.
With the scoping study well underway, the conference specifically grasped the opportunity to: 1) assess the current state of knowledge as mobilized and identified by the consortium partners according to the six deliverables the study seeks to generate; 2) identify knowledge gaps, entry points and needs; and 3) catalyze feedback in order to further calibrate the design and conduct of the scoping study according to the Ministry’s specific knowledge needs regarding its policy approach in West Africa.