The regional inception and planning workshop of West Africa Food Security Network (WAFSN), a part of International Food Security Network (IFSN), was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from March 3 to 6, 2014. It was organized by SOS SAHEL, the official partner hosting the regional secretariat of WAFSN and International Food Security Network (IFSN)l. WAFSN member country focal points from Burkina Faso, Ghana and Senegal, WAFSN Regional Secretariat personnel, and the IFSN Global Secretariat staff took part in the workshop.
After a formal inauguration, the workshop started off with an introductory presentation on IFSN III to help participants understand the objectives and expectations of the project in global and African context. The activities of the first day continued with a communication on an assessment of the regional action plan of the East and South Africa Food Security Network (ESAFSN). After this, the participants discussed the roles that national networks should play in the regional structure and identified regional and global advocacy agenda. Group works on the prioritization of food issues in West Africa followed the discussions of participants and put an end to the activities of the first day.
The second day of the workshop continued with the group work which allowed the participants to work out the regional action plan and budget of WAFSN.
After the WAFSN action plan is worked out, the participants discussed the governance of the regional network. It was especially about the role of national network in the regional structure, the criteria of selection of national members and the process of selection of the members of the steering committee. The sessions also focused on the governance body, the role of the regional focal persons and national network representative as well as the work relationship between and the secretariat and the national network representative. A presentation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and contracts of IFSNIII was completed so that participants strengthen their understanding of the role of the staff, the governance body of the regional network and national networks. To end the activities of the day, a panel on major food security events and the perspectives for West Africa, East and South Africa was held.
The activities of the third day started with a recapitulation of the works of the day one and two. After the recapitulation, presentations on the framework of communication, monitoring and evaluation of actions within IFSN was done. This was mainly about the system of communication in IFSN, the European Commission/IFSN visibility guidelines as well as the channels of communication of IFSN and guidelines and templates of reporting of activities of IFSN III. Subsequently, participants followed and discussed the allocation and management of the funds of the regional network - that is - regional budget, eligible and ineligible expenses, budget of protocol as well as national allocations, cash and funds flow.
A recapitulation of the activities of day three opened up the works of day four. After the recapitulation, participants discussed in plenary session the process of selection of representation of the regional network in international event, the mechanism of coordination and management of IFSN events before being submitted to a general evaluation of the development of the activities of the four day workshop. To close the workshop, an interaction meeting between IFSN and regional and international institutions and organizations2 was held in the afternoon of day four under the following theme: "The situation of food security and right to food and challenges to take up in order to achieve food and nutrition security in Africa". This meeting first enabled IFSN Global Secretariat staff to introduce IFSN III to the invited regional and international institutions and organizations representatives. It also helped all participants to understand the present situation and perspectives of right to food and food security in Africa. This interaction meeting closed the fourth and the final day workshop of WAFSN.