Nexus Energy Water Food & Circular Economy

Nexus Energy, Water,
Food and Circular Economy Program

The ECOWAS region continues to face interrelated challenges in energy access, energy security and climate change mitigation and adaptation, which are closely linked to the economic development of the region. Rural electrification rates in many countries in the region are below 10%, and overall electrification rates are well below 50%. These energy challenges have a negative impact on the implementation of regional programs and strategies aimed at fostering socio-economic development, attracting foreign investment, providing basic social services and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG7) . 

In the ECOWAS region, most countries’ economies mainly depend on the agricultural and livestock sector, which contributes significantly to their GDP and employs 70% of the total population, while over 80% of the rural population depends mainly artisanal agriculture. subsistence agriculture as the main source of livelihood and income. The agricultural sector, however, is characterized by low productivity due to the fact that it is mainly fueled by rain, making it highly exposed to the adverse effects of climate change such as erratic rainy seasons, variable rainfall, flooding. , droughts, bushfires and other extreme events. This not only affects food security but also hampers the socio-economic development of the region.   

The Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Grand Challenge was announced during World Water Week 2018 and launched at the Social Capital Markets 2019. Energy supply, water availability and Food security are closely linked and must be addressed in a holistic approach. It is in this context that we are launching the Nexus Energy Water Food & Circular Economy  program  , which aims to increase food production throughout the value chain through more sustainable and efficient use of water and/or energy and the recycling of agricultural by-products. to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. 

The overall objective of the project is “to  improve livelihoods in targeted communities and improve the source of economy in rural communities”.  

In order to achieve this objective, we have implemented a holistic approach where we would act on the following main and transversal axis: 

  • Economic:  improve energy efficiency in selected value chains to avoid losses and optimize performance and revenue. 
  • Social:  strengthen the capacities of stakeholders and create jobs. 
  • Environmental:  move towards clean energies and reuse waste to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Community development:  improving people’s livelihoods by providing access for productive purposes. 
  • Gender and youth:  women and youth must be well represented in the selected value chains. 

In progress

  • Water and energy for increased food security – Promote clean cooking solutions and solar technologies. Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Gambia.
  • Regional Pilot for Circular Economy – Clean energy circular economy through optimization of energy-intensive value chains in high-impact sectors in Benin, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.
  • “Managing the circular economy through the water-energy-food link in West Africa” Phase 1 – Scoping exercise to establish the reference. Countries Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Togo.

Under preparation

  • Phase 2 of “Managing the circular economy through the water-energy and food link in West Africa”. Country: Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Togo.
  • Regional pilot for the circular economy – Phase II countries: Nigeria, Benin, Guinea, Sierra Leone.

The expected results of the program projects are as follows:  

  • Outcome 1: Improved agricultural productivity among assisted communities through the use of solar-powered water irrigation systems. 
  • Result 2: Increase in income of assisted fish traders. 
  • Result 3: Reduction in fish losses after capture. 
  • Outcome 4: Reduced carbon dioxide emissions through the use of clean stoves in supported hospitals or educational institutions. 
  • Outcome 5: Improved management of clean technologies that promote energy efficiency and clean cooking by assisted communities. 
  • Outcome 6: Increased awareness of the benefits of adopting clean energy technologies in assisted communities. 




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