Regional Development Cooperation Strategy

USAID/West Africa (USAID/WA) is a highly dynamic, regional mission that leverages strategically targeted programs across a region spanning 21 countries with a population of 367 million.

Working through a distinct regional lens, the mission designs and implements programs that are African-led, maintain a regional perspective, support regional partners’ efforts and priorities, and pursue a long-term vision balanced with short-term, achievable results. The mission is able to accomplish these results by focusing on programs that take advantage of the interdependent nature and proximity of countries in West Africa; well-established trade and migration routes, which cut across the region; and the presence of active regional institutions, including long-time partners, which have benefited from USAID capacity building efforts and are poised to play a greater role in the region’s development. Employing targeted interventions in peace and governance, economic growth, and health, USAID/WA is able to play a key synergistic role in promoting sustainable development in the region and addressing such crises as Ebola and other regional shocks and challenges. The goal for the USAID/WA Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS) is:

Social and economic well-being advanced by West Africans

This goal articulates USAID/WA’s commitment to support African-led, regional development. The term “advanced by West Africans” underscores the mission’s commitment to capacity-building with the direct aim of supporting regional organizations to better deliver on their respective mandates. The goal is supported by three Development Objectives (DOs) that cover the following sectors: peace and governance (including countering violent extremism and conflict management); economic growth (including trade and investment, energy, agriculture, natural resources management, and climate change); and health (including family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and water and sanitation). USAID/WA also has a Support Objective, which represents the service provision (financial, legal, procurement, administrative, and technical) and knowledge management functions of the mission. The DOs and Support Objective are:

  • DO 1: Systems of Non-violent Conflict Management Strengthened in West Africa
  • DO 2: Broad-Based Economic Growth and Resilience Advanced through West African Partners
  • DO 3: Utilization of Quality Health Services Increased through West African Partners
  • Support Objective: USAID’s Capacity to Advance USG Objectives in West Africa Enhanced

USAID/WA’s development hypothesis is that, if West African systems of non-violent conflict management are strengthened, if broad-based economic growth and resilience are advanced through regional partners, and if the utilization of quality health services is increased in West Africa, then social and economic well-being will be advanced by West Africans. The Support Objective will help achieve the goal by supporting USAID’s own capacity to deliver development programming in the region.

USAID/WA’s RDCS advances regional objectives through programs that 1) directly engage regional partners, and 2) link to and leverage national investments to have an overall greater regional impact. As a regional mission, USAID/WA has the following responsibilities:

  • Address transnational issues that cannot be addressed by any one country alone.
  • Support regional partners’ efforts and priorities, and build long-term sustainable partnerships with them.
  • Link regional policies and priorities to national policies and plans.
  • Create linkages and enhance communication between USAID bilateral missions and West African regional bodies.
  • In limited cases, conduct programs at the country level with precedent-setting demonstration effect and leverage the experience to influence regional priorities and policies.
  • Support the USAID presence in West Africa by 1) supporting USAID/Washington centrally-managed programs in the region, 2) managing the programs of the USAID Representative Office in Côte d’Ivoire and of the Non-Presence Country (NPC) Cameroon, and 3) providing technical and operations services to bilateral missions and other NPCs in the region. (Note that in 2015, USAID/Benin will become a USAID Office under the oversight of USAID/WA.)
  • Serve as a Center of Excellence that supports the USAID Forward reform agenda (e.g., Science and Technology, Innovation, Local Solutions) through training, learning and collaboration.

USAID/WA’s RDCS covers the five-year period from fiscal year (FY) 2015 through FY 2019. Under the RDCS, USAID/WA will continue to support Presidential Initiatives and Administration priorities, including the Trans-Sahara Counter-terrorism Partnership (TSCTP), Feed the Future (FtF), Power Africa, Trade Africa, the Global Climate Change (GCC) Initiative, the Global Health Initiative (GHI), and the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The RDCS supports anticipated Congressional earmarks including ones for biodiversity and water. The RDCS directly aligns with the State and USAID Africa bureaus’ Joint Regional Strategy for FY 2015-2017, whose goals are: 1) Strengthen Democratic Institutions; 2) Spur Economic Growth, Trade and Investment; 3) Advance Peace and Security; and 4) Promote Opportunity and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, the RDCS and USAID/WA’s implementation approaches embody USAID Forward core principles including building and using local capacity, forming and sustaining partnerships, and spurring and scaling innovation.

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