The status quo is still here… Since the 60s, 70s 90s…The issues still facing Africa at large are well known if not understood. If we take a look back in 1991 under a very tempting title “Preparing for the Future A Vision of West Africa in the Year 2020 - West Africa Long Term Perspective Study (WALTPS)”, four member countries of the Club du Sahel: Canada, the United States, France and the Netherlands, suggested that a regional study be undertaken of the long-term prospects for West Africa. Several Sahelian countries and several coastal West African countries backed the idea.

Twenty years after...the status quo is still here…And why such institutions are still holding Africa back when they do have the information as what works and what doesn't?
Indeed, to carry out this regional study, the Club du Sahel Secretariat and the CINERGIE group (a project set up under a 1991 agreement between the OECD and the African Development Bank) formed a multi-disciplinary team of African and non-African experts. The European Commission, the World Bank and the African Development Bank provided the funds necessary to finance the study.
Undertaking a study of long-term perspectives in West Africa would necessitate taking a step back in order to see far ahead. CINERGIE and the Club du Sahel, not being bound by any short-term policy deadlines, were in a good position to do just that and to date have seemed to have done solely that!


The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at its inception then, has grown rapidly over the last twenty years. And advances in technology have contributed to a sharp increase in the supply of geographic information (locations, satellite images, etc.) and have also led to an increase in the demand for geographic information as new hardware and software tools have made access to, and analysis of, this information possible at a lower cost. It was previously necessary to manually create a new map for every new theme combination, caption edit, or format modification. These tasks can now be accomplished in a few seconds.Twenty years after...the status quo is still here…

One component of the study dealt with the economic geography of rural West Africa. One of its main goals was to try to answer the following questions:

  • Where will the rural population be located in 2020?
  • How will agricultural production vary geographically in 2020?
  • How will the transport infrastructure in rural areas change between now and 2020

Any predictive analysis requires an examination of past and present conditions. The WALTPS database was therefore built to help determine the key parameters that influence rural population density, agricultural production. and expansion of the road networks across West Africa.

Twenty years after...the status quo is still here… Since the 60s, 70s 90s…

Saying that such a study and numerous others have not led to substantial investments to tackle key findings is not exaggerated, therefore COMENGIP is advocating new endogenous leadership drawing from our immediate priorities, urgencies and prospects in a global economy.