The outcome of the global food price crisis of 2007/2008 which severely affected many developing countries of world informed the facilitation of national programs on West African countries to provide evidence-based solutions that will affect policies and strategies of rice self-sufficiency in the region.

To this end, the Centre for the study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA) in collaboration withthe Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR Senegal) and the Centre Ivoirien de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (CIRES Ivory Coast) hosted a conference on ‘Improving rice self-sufficiency policies in West Africa: Challenges and opportunities’ on January 12- 14, 2016, in Dakar Senegal.

The event provided a platform for policymakers (representatives of Ministries of agriculture), practitioners (state agencies, projects and programs), the private sector, regional entities (ECOWAS, ROPPA), think tanks and donors to share views on the different policies and strategies of rice self-sufficiency, to deepen their understanding of the challenges and opportunities, to lay the foundations of a collective reflection on the ways to better implement these policies within West Africa.

The conference consisted of presentations by keynote speakers, panel discussions, and session papers from Government representatives of Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal who shared their experience with their rice self-sufficiency policies in their respective countries while Think tanks from these countries provided a critical review of these policies.

The conference also provided an opportunity to identify knowledge gaps that would be the basis for future collaborative research. This initiative will thus contribute to strengthening the research capacities of the think tanks and improve their policy linkages within the West Africa region.