West Africa Community of Practice Annual Meeting, Bamako, Mali, March 4-8, 2024

The Ministries of Agriculture of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger came together with more than 80 participants from farmers organizations, research centers, NGOs, and agroecology alliances for the 2024 CRFS West Africa Community of Practice (CoP) annual meeting. Master’s and PhD students working in agroecology also participated thanks to travel grants offered to them.

The meeting generated deep engagement in facilitated conversations among CRFS grantees and external experts, and included poster sessions, panel discussions, storytelling, scientific seminars, and group / networking activities. Topics were diverse, covering among others evidence for agroecology, soil health, landscape and territorial concepts, climate solutions, Farmer Research Networks for agroecological transitions, different modes of scaling, and policy influence. The McKnight Foundation’s core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion were strong themes throughout the event, especially on the topic of women’s participation in food and farming systems and their important role in the transition to agroecology.

The West African region faces challenges on the climatic, demographic and security fronts, with violent extremism and population displacements impacting education, health and research, and hampering food production and population mobility. These challenges have also had an impact on food and nutrition security in the Sahel, underlining the need for greater resilience among populations, and the importance of the work of CRFS’ West Africa Community of Practice. The participants recognized the McKnight Foundation’s continuous engagement in the West African region. Of particular note was the participation of two McKnight staff at the meeting, including the CRFS Director. In a global media context where the Sahel is mostly viewed as a “no-go-zone,” their physical presence added steam to the CoP’s resilience endeavors.


The full report of the meeting is available in English and French.



Resource Type:

Learning / story

Community of Practice:

West Africa