At the mature age of 33 years, The South West Development Authority (SOWEDA), continues to play its role in triggering growth and development in the South West Region. 

SOWEDA is an Administrative Public Establishment that was set up by Presidential Decree N° 87/1874 of 17 December 1987 and became operational in 1991. It serves as government’s instrument in the South West Region to oversee the identification and implementation of government Programmes in Agriculture and Rural Development aimed at improving on the socio economic development of the people of the South West Region.

SOWEDA’s main objective therefore, is the continuous pursuit of ways to raise the standards of living of the rural population through agricultural development and the improvement of infrastructure such as roads, markets, water supply schemes and rural electrification projects. Other activities of the Establishment include: the promotion of access to credit for agricultural development, formulation and eventual implementation of major development projects in partnership with Government and Multilateral Development Banks and Agencies. Also, the establishment serves as a Centre for holding information on development. 

Within the framework of institutional arrangements and notwithstanding its legal personality and financial autonomy, SOWEDA is placed under the technical supervisory authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries, and the financial supervisory authority of the Ministry of Finance. 

In order to improve on its service delivery capacity and out-reach both quantitatively and qualitatively, SOWEDA in 2016 benefitted from a special 4-year financing agreement (Contract Plan) from the government of Cameroon.  This rehabilitation plan has permitted the Establishment to revamp its resource base by procuring a battery of heavy duty equipments, constructed and equipped a Documentation and Archive Centre, two Training Centers in Kumba and Mamfe, and three improved planting materials Multiplication Centers (Ekona in Fako, Obang in Manyu and Nyan in Kupe-Muanenguba Divisions) as well as improve on its information, accounting and data management systems.

After successfully executing 3 major projects (Integrated Rural Development Project, Livestock and Fisheries Development Project and Rumpi Area Participatory Project) between 1992 and 2012, the Agricultural Infrastructure and Value Chain Development Project (AIVDP) is the only on-going project at the moment. AIVDP mainly focuses on exploiting the agricultural sector in generating income and creating jobs for the rural population particularly the youth and women. The Project design centers on developing the value chain of cocoa, oil palm, cassava and rice through improved production, processing/transformation techniques as well as efficient and organized marketing channels. The Project is also supporting the production of plantains, groundnut, potatoes and citrus so as to buffer farmers from external shocks (climate and market related) and enhance their nutritional security. Equally, the Project is involved in the construction/rehabilitation of agricultural and social infrastructure (30 markets, 30 farm gate hangars, 290 km roads, 32 water schemes, 10 double classrooms blocks, 7 health centres, 7 community empowerment centres and 50 ventilated improved pit latrines). Project activities are being executed through various implementation partners, service providers and beneficiary communities.

Considering the overall roles played by SOWEDA, the Institution could be considered as the Apex Rural Development Structure for the South West Region. Its role in the economic development of the Region, can therefore not be overemphasized.

In June 2019, a new management team was appointed at the helm of the institution by the President of the Republic which has injected new blood into the operating system of the Establishment. It is expected this action and many more will go a long way to continue to ensure the relevance of SOWEDA to the needs and aspiration of the rural masses of the South West Region especially at the time the Region is anxiously looking forward to the return to peace and normalcy.




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