Cabo Verde

Guinea Bissau

PRAO Mauritania


Sierra Leone




The marine waters from Mauritania to Ghana are characterized as one of the most endowed with valuable assemblages of marine fish stocks in West Africa. Some of the fish resources are shared stocks. The fisheries sector plays a pivotal role in the lives of the populations as well as the economic of the countries. Despite the importance of the natural asset, the sector is currently not sufficiently contributing to the economic growth and poverty alleviation of the region as it could if managed properly.

This situation is on one hand largely due to overexploitation and subsequent depletion of the resources by both legal and illegal operators as result of low capacity of the countries to sustainably manage the marine fish resources and prevent their overexploitation, particularly by illegal fishing vessels; and on the other hand, the bulk of the legally harvested resources by foreign and offshore vessels yields only a fraction of their value to local economies. Moreover, foreign countries and fleets benefit the most from the resources as the lion share of the fish caught in West Africa's waters is not landed in the region, but rather is taken directly to foreign ports where further value is added and jobs are created.

The West Africa Regional Fisheries Program which is funded by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank is designed to assist countries to address these constraints by providing support to collaborate to (i) strengthen the governance of the use of the marine fish resources so that they recover to much more environmentally sustainable and economically profitable levels, while at the same time (ii) invest where needed to increase the portion of the value of these resources that is captured locally within the region.

Program Objective:

The overall objective is to sustainably increase the overall wealth generated by the exploitation of the marine fisheries resources of West Africa, and the proportion of that wealth captured by West African countries.

The program will cover nine countries, which include: Cabo Verde, Liberia, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone. As of January 2016, a total of eight countries have participated in the WARFP: Cabo Verde, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ghana.  Potential participation of Cote d’Ivoire and Gambia is under discussion.


Figure 1 Current and Potential WARFP Member Countries


The WARFP member countries are grouped according to the project series to which they belong.  Project series represent the order of implementation. The following table illustrates the timing and grouping of each project series and details:


Name of Series

Phase 1

Series A:

Cabo Verde, Liberia, Senegal Sierra Leone

SOP A1: 2010 -2015

$67 million

Series B:


SOP B1: 2011 – 2016

$ 8 million

Series 3


2012 – 2017

$43.8 million

Series C

Guinea, Mauritania

SOP C1: 2015 -2019


Each phase will be about five years, and three phases are envisaged for each country.  That is, the entire time span for the WARFP program is about 15 years per country.

Key Outcomes Indicators:

  1. Improved Governance indicator: Territorial use rights fisheries (TURFs) legally established in targeted coastal fisheries by end of Phase I;
  2. Reduction of Illegal Fishing indicator: Reduction of fishing vessels observed by aerial/surface patrol or by radar and satellite monitoring, that are committing a serious infraction (i.e. fishing without a license, or fishing in a prohibited zone or using prohibited gear); and
  3. Increased Local Value Added indicator: Increase or stabilization in the volume of exports from targeted fisheries.

Key intermediate indicators:

Improved Governance:

  • Clear principles and policies are established to increase the wealth from fisheries through strengthened rights and equitable allocation of these rights which balances economic efficiency and social benefits;
  • Percentage of small-scale fishing vessels in targeted fisheries that are registered by end of Phase I;
  • Number of communities that are allocated fishing rights;
  • Number of vessels reduced in targeted fisheries that are overexploited;

Reduced Illegal Fishing :

  • Nombre total de jours de patrouille en mer par an dans les pêcheries ciblées ;
  • Un système de surveillance des navires par satellite (VMS) est en place et fonctionnel à la fin de la Phase I ;

Increased Local Value-Added:

  • Number of total patrol days at sea per year in targeted fisheries;
  • A satellite-based fishing vessel monitoring system (VMS) is in place and functioning by end of Phase I;

Increased Local Value-Added:

  • Pilot integrated fish landing site clusters established by the Program and operating by end of Phase I; and
  • A sanitary authority is accredited for certification of exports to the European Union, in each country.

Program Component:

The program has four main components with sub-components, which comprise a menu of activities that will be implemented in the each of the nine countries.

Component 1. Good Governance and Sustainable Management of the Fisheries

The objective of this component is to build the capacity of Governments and stakeholders to implement a shared approach that would ensure that the marine fish resources are used in a manner that is environmentally sustainable, socially fair and economically profitable

Component 2. Reduction of Illegal Fishing

The objective of this component is to reduce the illegal fishing activities threatening the sustainable management of the marine fish resources and the wealth they can generate for the region. Specifically, this component aims to improve the fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance [MCS] systems of participating countries and adapt them to the needs of fisheries management, within the framework of a coordinated approach between the participating countries.

Component 3. Increasing the Contribution of the Marine Fish Resources to the Local Economies

The objective of this component is to increase the benefits to West Africa from the marine fish resources, by increasing the share of the value-added captured in the region.

Component 4. Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation and Program Management

The objective of this component is to support the countries to implement the Program in the context of the CSRP Strategic Action Plan, and to monitor and evaluate results.

Program Implementation Arrangement

The Program is administered through Program Implementation Unit (PIU) in each participating country. The responsibility of the PIU is to ensure the effective implementation of program activities. The PIUs are staffed locally and abroad, specializing in project management. However, the structure and the scope of their activities can vary from one country to another, depending on local conditions and operating constraints. These units are accountable to national authorities and are under the supervision of the Ministries of Fisheries.

The Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC), through a Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) provides the coordination of the program. The Regional Coordination Unit is responsible for fiduciary funds, which are allocated by country, and reports to a Regional Steering Committee. The RCU collects and transmits to the World Bank annual work programs and budget, procurement plans and monitoring and evaluation plan.

The Regional Steering Committee consists of Directors of Fisheries of the country (or their representative) and the Permanent Secretary of the SRFC (or his representative) meets at least once a year at the invitation of the Permanent Secretary of the SRFC. The Regional Coordinator of WARFP provides the Secretariat of the Regional Steering Committee.

In each country, the institutions involved in the fisheries sector are involved in the project. This also applies to professional organizations. The Ministries of Finance, Environment plays an important role in the implementation of the Programme. 

Regional: The Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission

The Program will aim to build the basic capacity in each of the participating countries, as well as the CSRP, over the first years of implementation, in order to support gradual transfer of implementation of more and more fisheries governance and surveillance activities to the regional level

Financing Agreement Credit No

Amount Retrocede (USD)


Liberia Credit No H5240


Sierra Leone Credit No 46630


Senegal Credit No 46620


Cabo Verde Credit No 46650


Guinea Bissau Credit No H6530


Ghana Credit No 49790


Dashboard Credit No H7290 (IDA Additional Financing)


Overall Total

6, 336,122

Component 1. Good Governance and Sustainable Management of the Fisheries

Sub-Component 1.1 Development of the Capacity, Rules, Procedures and Practices for Good Governance of the Fisheries


  • Transparency and Accessibility of Fisheries Management Information The establishment of a regional information platform (Dashboard)

Sub-Component 1.4 Social Marketing, Communication and Transparency


  • Network of Journalists Reporting on the Program. Support the creation of an active network of local journalists within the region who cover and report frequently on the fisheries management issues and progress with project implementation
  • Support skills development for local journalists throughout the region to gather and disseminate information 

Component 2. Reduction of Illegal Fishing

Sub-Component 2.1 Enabling Environments for Reducing Illegal Fishing


  • Stable and adequate financing of surveillance functions (through technical assistance development and implementation of sustainable adequate financing mechanisms for surveillance operation in the participating countries

Sub-Component 2.3 Strengthening Regional Collaboration for MCS


  • CSRP will provide support to the countries for the implementation of port state measures to combat illegal fishing
  • Program will support periodic reviews and audits of the fisheries surveillance activities financed in the participating countries by the World Bank, by an independent group of experts

Composante 3 : Component 3. Increasing the Contribution of the Marine Fish Resources to the Local Economies

Sub-Component 3.2 Fish Product Trade Infrastructure, Information and Systems – Regional Minimum Integrated Trade Expansion Platform (MITEP)


  • The program will finance the creation of a Proactive trade information system (PTIS) for targeted supply chains in each participating countries
  • Development of the product ID cards for targeted fishery resources, which will be hosted on an easily accessible and user-friendly ICT based system housed at the CSRP. 

Component 4. Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation and Program Management

Sub-Component 4.2 Regional Coordination

The Program will be coordinated and supported by a Regional Coordination Unit, housed at the CSRP. The Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) will support:


  • Support the harmonization of fisheries policy within the region,
  • Conduct monitoring and evaluation of Program investments and share information and results throughout the region,
  • Implement ongoing communication activities to raise awareness about the Program and implementation progress, and
  • Provide implementation support to each of the countries, including the coordination of regional procurement.
  • The RCU will collect and transmit each participating country’s annual work program, budget, update of the monitoring and evaluation indicators and procurement plan to the World Bank for non-objection.