Five investment sectors
with high profitability, create added value .
Agriculture, animal husbandry and fishing are the main livelihoods in the West African region, employing 60 per cent of the labour force, but the agricultural sector contributes only 35 per cent to GDP. Agriculture is also the sector on which the development of the export capacity of States is based.
In fact, market opportunities for operators in the sector are increasingly dynamic. And to meet an increasingly important and varied demand, initiatives such as the West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), created by ECOWAS, are striving to build a food system that promotes the complementarity of ecosystems and agro-ecological zones in the various member states of the region.
However, the establishment of such a system requires major investments in terms of agricultural equipment, food security and the improvement of value chains of important investments in terms of equipment,
adaptation to climate change, food security,
value chain improvement and the sustainability of the use of
Despite the significant investments made since fifteen years in infrastructure needs remain largely unmet, on a very large territory. However, efficient infrastructure linking the different economic sectors, give coherence to the production system, reduce disparities of opportunities between cities and the countryside and ensure a better distribution of wealth among the different strata of society and between zones urban and rural.
The implementation of major development projects of road, rail and river will make it a shared wealth creation lever: completion of the trans-Sahelian highway linking Bamako to Dakar, construction of roads to the ports of Nouakchott, Dakar and Conakry rail link between Mali and Nigeria, building river ports in some areas in Mali, Senegal and Mauritania to Mali from opening up the Senegal River, etc.
Innovation can enable the countries of the subregion to
break away from the traditional development process to
skip steps and accelerate their economic growth, but
to manage their resources more efficiently and to expand
access to essential services even for the most vulnerable populations.
vulnerable. An ecosystem of innovation would be a tremendous asset
for the region, with the digital economy and the
Currently, revenues from mobile telephony are three times those of developed economies across the continent. Also, in the last four years, the share of the population with access to the Internet has increased from 10 to 20%. This trend can be explained in particular by the youthfulness of the West African population: 50% of the population is under 19 years of age and is predominantly urban.
This demographic dynamism leads, de facto, to the emergence of new needs and uses in terms of connectivity: digital technology brings countries closer together, reduces barriers to trade and offers new windows of opportunity to young entrepreneurs. Thus, by applying new technologies to value chains, West Africa can be a forerunner in the fourth industrial revolution.
The West Africa does not have a sufficiently strong production base due to an industrial fabric made up of obsolete equipment; the region is one of the less integrated in the productive segments of global value chains. For example, West Africa produces and exports 65% of cocoa beans in the world. But because it does not transform, it receives only 3.5% to 6% of the final price of a chocolate bar.
Industrial Policy in West Africa Common (WACIP) which intends to increase to 30% the share of industry in GDP in the region by 2030 is an ambitious roadmap that is to work in for accelerating the industrialization of West Africa through the promotion of endogenous industrial processing of local raw materials, the development and diversification of industrial production capacities, and strengthening integration regional and export of manufactured goods. This framework provides a unique investment potential for equity holders.
“The low access to energy for the people of the region is an obstacle.
to the achievement of SDOs and development, particularly in areas of
rural areas: 250 million people have no access to electricity. From
In addition, the energy mix that makes up the electrical capacity of the
most ECOWAS countries is mainly represented by the
natural gas (+50%), fuel oil (30%). The rest of the energy demand
is mainly composed of biomass: wood used as
main fuel in a generally polluting way.
However, the growth potential of renewable energies in
West Africa is significant: solar (strong sunshine in particular
in the north), wind power (especially on the coast), biomass (biogas
mainly cattle) or hydroelectricity (which already represents 20% of the
mix), there is no shortage of resources available in the region. According to
At IRENA, the share of renewables in the mix could be increased to
rapidly increasing, notably through the construction of large
hydroelectric dams (37% of the electricity production on the horizon)
2030) and wind power (17%).
ECOWAS has already set up 3 major integration institutions
in the sector: the Regional Centre for Renewable Energies and
Energy Efficiency Centre (CEREEC) based in Cape Verde, the
West African Power Exchange System (WAPP) of which
the head office is located in Benin, and the Regional Regulatory Authority of the
Electricity Sector (ARREC) based in Ghana.