Regulation C/REG.1/08/11 Establishing the Regional Food and Agriculture Agency (RFAA)

Economic Community of West African States

Regulation C/REG.1/08/11 Establishing the Regional Food and Agriculture Agency (RFAA)

The Council of Ministers,MINDFUL of Articles 10, 11 and 12 of the ECOWAS Treaty as amended, establishing the Council of Ministers and defining its composition and functions;MINDFUL of Article 25 of the said ECOWAS Treaty on Agricultural Development and Food Security;MINDFUL of Decision A/DEC.11/01/05 adopting the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy;CONSIDERING the need to establish operational structures with autonomous administrative and financial management to ensure implementation of the ECOWAP/CAADP projects and programmes;CONSIDERING that the purpose of establishing these structures is not to replace existing technical cooperation institutions or to preclude the establishment of such institutions in the future;CONSIDERING the need to put in place technical institutions that have the capacity to implement activities and investment programmes within the Agricultural sector;CONSIDERING therefore that the Agency shall serve as the technical institution through which ECOWAS would fully play its role of providing support to the actors and regional cooperation institutions to implement the investment programmes;CONVINCED that, by virtue of the purpose of the ECOWAP/CAADP which is to promote food security, in West Africa, there is a need to establish the Regional Food and Agriculture Agency to ensure the technical implementation of the required regional investment plans and programmes with the support of the regional institutions, organisations and actors that have proven competencies;DESIROUS therefore of establishing a Regional Food and Agriculture Agency (RFAA);ON THE RECOMMENDATION of the meeting of the Specialised Ministerial Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources of the ECOWAS Member States held on 3rd February 2011 in Accra, Ghana;AGREE AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1 – Establishment

This Regulation hereby establishes the Regional Food and Agriculture Agency (RFAA).

Article 2 – Institutional arrangement

1.The Agency specified in Article 1 of this Regulation shall be a specialised technical structure that will work in the Agricultural sector.
2.The Agency shall be established in one of the ECOWAS countries and shall have a Headquarters Agreement which shall vest on it all privileges accorded an international institution in conformity with the ECOWAS General Convention on Privileges and Immunities of 1978.
3.It shall have administrative and financial autonomy and its rules of procedure, legal, administrative and financial operating regulations shall be (staff regulations, administrative and financial management procedures) in conformity with those enforced in ECOWAS.
4.The Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources shall supervise RFAA on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission.

Article 3 – Mandate and mission

1.The mandate of the Agency is to ensure the technical implementation of programs and regional investment plans and contribute to the operationalization of the ECOWAS agricultural policy, by working with regional institutions, agencies and stakeholders with proven expertise.
2.The functions shall include:
a)To enhance the intervention capacity of the ECOWAS Commission, particularly the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, reinforcing its technical capacity to implement investment programs and enable it provide strategic orientation, regulation and control.
b)To contribute in the capacity building of the regional actors in document preparation and implementation of activities and help improve the various services provided by the technical cooperation institutions and other regional actors undertaking activities in the agricultural sector (private sector, professional agricultural organisations and civil society).
c)To coordinate and streamline the activities of the specialized technical institutions in the agricultural and agro-food sectors.

Article 4 – Operations

1.The Agency shall submit, for approval, requests for financing to the managers of the Regional Food and Agriculture Fund established by Council Regulation C/REG.2 /08/11.
2.The Agency shall request for technical advice from the Advisory Committee on Food and Agriculture established by Council Regulation C/REG.3/08/11 and from an Interdepartmental Committee to be established by the President of the Commission.

Article 5 – Operating structures

The Agency shall comprise one executive Directorate under which two operational units shall be established: the administration and finance unit and the technical unit for implementation of the programmes.

Article 6 – Functions of the Executive Directorate

1.The Executive Directorate shall be responsible for the management of the Agency, and shall manage relations with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, as well as other structures involved in the implementation of the agricultural policy, technical cooperation institutions, (Regional Advisory Committee and the inter-department) other Producers and socio-professional organisations, civil society and all other regional actors that contribute towards achieving the goal of ECOWAP.
2.The Executive Directorate shall coordinate the preparation of programme budget estimates for submission to the ECOWAS Statutory Authorities through the Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources.
3.The Executive Directorate shall receive and centralise the projects and programmes jointly financed and submitted to the Agency for implementation by the Member States, technical institutions, other regional actors and banks prior to submitting these to the ECOWAF Food and Agricultural Fund (ECOWADF) managers.
3.The Executive Directorate shall ensure proper functioning of the Agency and shall submit reports on its activities to the ECOWAS statutory authorities.[Please note: numbering as in original.]
5.The Executive Directorate shall organize financial and technical audits on the Agency and submit same to the President of the Commission through the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources.

Article 7 – Functions of the Administration and Finance Unit

1.The Administration and Finance Unit shall be under the authority of the Executive Directorate and shall be responsible for the management of administrative and financial affairs.
2.It shall ensure compliance of the administrative and financial actions undertaken by the Agency with the relevant rules and regulations enforced in ECOWAS.
3.It shall keep the Agency’s accounts, prepare, sign and monitor contracts signed with the partner institutions.
4.It shall manage the human resources of the Agency and be in charge of Staff Welfare.
5.It shall ensure compliance with all Protocols signed with partner institutions on matters that fall within its purview.

Article 8 – Functions of the Technical Unit

1.The Technical Unit in charge of programme implementation shall collaborate in the development of policy instrument aimed at stimulating agricultural production. It shall coordinate the technical implementation of investment programmes and the establishment of policy incentives for agricultural production.
2.The Unit shall ensure the proper execution of all planned activities. To that end, it shall undertake two categories of tasks: appropriate preparation of the programme documents and regular monitoring of the status of implementation of the activities by different service providers.
3.The Unit shall undertake capacity building of the Institutions and all actors eligible to directly execute activities under the three specific objectives of the Regional Agricultural Investment Programme: support for the preparation of bid tenders, training of those involved in project management and issues relating to gender mainstreaming and the environment.
4.Regarding monitoring, the technical unit is responsible for auditing activities to verify compliance with project or programspecifications. It may suggest, after discussion with the different stakeholders and analysis of the context, adjustments to be made.

Article 9 – Staffing

The staffing of the Agency as well as the matching job profiles as contained in the detailed "Note on the institutional mechanism and financial arrangements for ECOWAP/CAADP implementation" attached to this Regulation are hereby adopted.

Article 10 – Publication

This Regulation shall be published by the ECOWAS Commission in the Official Journal of the Community within thirty (30) days after its signature by the Chairman of Council. It shall also be published by each Member State in its Official Gazette within thirty (30) days after its notification thereof by the Commission.
Done at Abuja, this 19th day of August 2011H.E. Olugbenga AshiruChairman for Council
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