West Africa has high population growth. It is estimated that the region’s population (45% of whom are under 15 years old) will reach a half-billion by 2040. But countries in the region are struggling to reduce poverty and inequality, and to sustainably manage resources. There are major disparities in the region: Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal alone account for roughly 80% of the region’s imports and 94% of exports. Conflicts, political crises and terrorist threats in several West African countries are all destabilising factors. Those countries also face extreme climate phenomena, which are becoming more and more frequent and severe, and which are further weakening the primary sector.

Over the past thirty years, family farms in the Sahel have based their economies on balancing their resources and labour between animal and crop production. Livestock mobility is central to all of those systems, even the most sedentary ones. By securing routes and facilitating mobility, this project will benefit a wide range of family farms, regardless of how their farming systems are balanced.

Project overview

When it comes to improving food security, jobs and economic development in this strategic sector, it is important to invest in infrastructure (livestock routes, pasture areas, rest areas, watering places, livestock markets, loading areas, livestock food banks, veterinary storage facilities) and work with local authorities to improve their decision-making tools with support and expertise provided by pastoral civil-society organisations. By building capacities and improving collaboration between local authorities and civil society, the project hopes to:

  • perform thorough pre-project social-engineering work;
  • optimise targeting of future infrastructure projects; and
  • ensure that infrastructure is jointly and sustainably managed by local authorities and pastoral civil-society organisations.

By securing herd mobility and herd access to agropastoral and market infrastructure, particularly along the borders of the eight project countries, and by ensuring strong collaboration between civil-society organisations and local authorities, this project will ultimately create a virtuous circle that will make it possible to sustainably integrate agropastoralism into the socio-economic landscape of those areas, help agropastoral communities become more resilient, and promote socio-economic development in those areas using tax revenue from the sector.


  • secure herd mobility and access to pastoral resources and markets;
  • establish the right conditions for accessing natural resources and herd mobility by strengthening the capacities of key players in the sector at cross-border level;
  • improve living conditions for agropastoral communities by providing food for livestock, marking routes, improving market infrastructure and ensuring access to cross-border veterinary stations;
  • improve cross-border mobility through a network of joint local authority organisations.

Key figures and results

  • 70 brainstorming workshops will be organised;
  • 60 leaders (at least 30% women) will receive training in livestock trade or mobility in West Africa;
  • 140 people (at least 30% women) will receive training in geographic information systems;
  • 20% decrease in conflicts between livestock farmers and smallholders by 2022;
  • 70 informed debates on issues relating to livestock trade and mobility in West Africa;
  • 22 maps showing the different activities linked to agropastoralism will be made available;
  • Creation of at least 300 committees (with at least 600 female members) to manage and monitor all of the infrastructure;
  • 2,065km of routes secured;
  • Creation of at least 38 watering places, 25 rest areas and 25 pasture areas; construction of 13 livestock food banks and provision of 1,100 tonnes of livestock food;
  • At least 22 construction projects for market infrastructure completed and managed inclusively and transparently;
  • Creation of at least 5 cross-border joint local authority organisations.

Photos of the project

Project's local partners :

    • ACAD
      The Association for the Atacora and Donga Regions (Association des Communes de l’Atacora et de la Donga, or ACAD) works with Acting for Life to organise agro-pastoral programmes. ACAD wants to develop a programme to support training in stonework, similar to the programme in Togo. ACAD’s role in capacity-building and interfacing with the 13 towns within its association allows it to carry out local initiatives and support the development of the stonework sector in northern Benin.
    • AEBRB
      Association of Cattle Farmers in the Boukani Region (Association des Éleveurs de bovins de la Région de Boukani)
      The Association of Young Modern Crop and Livestock Farmers in Odienné (Association des Jeunes Éleveurs Agriculteurs Modernes d’Odiénné, or AJELAMO) encourages its members to look after and assist one another, and seeks to create the right conditions for developing and modernising crop and livestock farming in Odienné. It oversees the organisation, storage, processing and sale of agricultural products, and provides its members with affordable agricultural and veterinary products.
    • ANOPER
      The National Association for Professional Organisations of Ruminant Farmers (Association Nationale des Organisations Professionnelles des Éleveurs de Ruminants, or ANOPER) is a smallholder organisation comprising 35,000 livestock farmers in 48 towns in Benin, representing 75% of the country. It aims to improve living and working conditions for livestock farmers through the modernisation and sustainable development of ruminant farming.
    • APESS-Nigeria
      The Association for the Promotion of Livestock Farming in the Sahel and the Savanna (Association pour la Promotion de l’Élevage au Sahel et en Savane, or APESS) promotes rural development, and traditional livestock farming in particular. APESS offers its services to crop and livestock farmers, and to leaders and participants in various rural-development projects.
    • AREN

      The Association for the Revitalisation of Livestock Farming in Niger (Association pour la Redynamisation de le L’Elevage au Niger, or AREN) seeks to improve the lives of pastoral livestock farmers by helping them overcome challenges relating to land, conflict management and development. Its goal is to help those farmers represent themselves and defend their rights in national and international debates, and to help them get involved in policies and activities relating to development.

    • Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD)

      The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development is an NGO that seeks to develop methods for strengthening traditional authorities and civil-society organisations in order to facilitate sustainable development that gives a voice to poor and vulnerable rural families.

    • ETD (Entreprises, Territoires et Développement)

      Créée en 2003, l’association Entreprises, Territoires et Développement définit et met en œuvre des programmes de développement qui contribuent à la création, à la répartition équitable de richesse entre les acteurs dans les secteurs de l’agriculture, de la gouvernance locale, de la gestion des ressources naturelles et de l’environnement.


      The National Federation of Professionals in the Livestock and Meat Sector of Togo (Fédération Nationale des Professionnels de la Filière Bétail et Viande du Togo, or FENAPFIBVTO) strengthened the capacities of its members, particularly by developing offices throughout the country.

    • FREFBV-K (Fédération Régionale des Éleveurs de la Filière Bétail-Viande de Kankan)

      La FREFBV-K est une association guinéenne qui œuvre dans la région de Kankan (nord-est du pays). Elle vise à promouvoir l'émergence de la filière bétail-viande pour une amélioration du niveau de vie des membres et des populations de la Région de Kankan. Pour ce faire, la FREFBV accompagne les éleveurs et agropasteurs par l'apport de matériel et d’intrants, par le renforcement des capacités des unions et groupements membres, en soutenant la politique nationale de développement de l’élevage et en assurant l’approvisionnement des marchés à bétail en bovins performants et à coût abordable.

    • GAJEL

      The Cultural Action Group for Young Livestock Farmers (Groupement d'Action Culturelle des Jeunes Éleveurs, or GAJEL-Sudubaba) is an organisation that was founded in Niger in 1998. It works to promote economic and cultural development for crop and livestock farmers.

    • Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA)

      Ghana Developing Communities Association is an NGO that provides people in northern Ghana who live in poor communities or who are socially excluded with the means to work for social, political and economic development, and to adopt healthy environmental practices for a sustainable way of life.

    • GIC

      Founded in 2004, the Collines Intercommunal Group (Groupement Intercommunal des Collines, or GIC) comprises the six towns of the Collines department in Benin. It was created because elected officials and residents wanted to build a common vision for the development of their region. GIC helps pool resources for projects that promote shared interests, and helps the towns plan for development in a way that includes all members of the community.

    • OPEF
      The Professional Organisation of Livestock Farmers in Ferkessedougou (Organisation Professionnelle Des Éleveurs De Ferkessedougou, OPEF) is dedicated to improving the living and working conditions of livestock farmers and transhumant pastoralists. It works to improve the health of livestock and herds, and teaches livestock farmers about best practices.
    • RECOPA (Communication Network on Pastoralism)
      The Communication Network for Pastoralism has a multi-actor approach and aims to create and stimulate relationships between herders, local rural communities and authorities to address issues relating to pastoralism. The network focuses mainly on aspects that are intangible but nevertheless very important. Those aspects play a key role in the development of pastoralism.
    • ETD (Entreprises, Territoires et Développement)

      Créée en 2003, l’association Entreprises, Territoires et Développement définit et met en œuvre des programmes de développement qui contribuent à la création, à la répartition équitable de richesse entre les acteurs dans les secteurs de l’agriculture, de la gouvernance locale, de la gestion des ressources naturelles et de l’environnement.