World Bank Group West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program (WACA)

World Bank Group (WBG) Africa Fellowship Program Application 2021

Deadline:July 1, 2020 (midnight Washington DC). 

World Bank Group West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program (WACA)

The World Bank Group is launching a Call for Innovation under the West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program (WACA). More specifically, the call is part of the ongoing WACA Resilience Investment Project (WACA ResIP), a multi-country regional project that aims to support present assets and strengthen the resilience of coastal communities for Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, and Togo. These six countries, covering approximately 2,200 km of coastline, have particularly vulnerable coastal areas due to erosion, flooding, and pollution, but they also have a will to properly address the unwanted consequences.

This Call for Innovation focuses on the issue of coastal degradation in West Africa, and in particular, addresses the impact of large commercial ports on sediment movement and coastal erosion. This Call for Innovation concerns innovative solutions for the afore-mentioned six countries as a start and may extend it to all of the 17 coastal countries that will be part of the program at a later stage. The scale and the complexity of coastal issues require an inter-disciplinary and regional approach and a level of financing and support involving many stakeholders and partners. The aim of the call is to find innovative yet feasible solutions for coastal degradation.

Understandably, innovative solutions are often associated with technical and financial feasibility challenges. While it is important for applicants to keep this in mind, it should not discourage them from presenting very ambitious or very simple ideas. Furthermore, while the call focuses on six countries, all proposals will have to keep an integrated approach in mind and take into account the potential impact of proposed solutions on neighboring countries.

WACA Management Programme 2020 – THE CHALLENGE

This Call for Innovation seeks to identify innovative and feasible solutions to fight coastal erosion and flooding issues associated with the ongoing development of large commercial ports and maritime operations in West Africa, mainly for Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, and Togo, but with also an outlook for the rest of the countries in West Africa. In most cases, existing ports were built with limited planning and considerations of potential exacerbation of coastal erosion. The significant threat is that this shortcoming is also occurring for designing and constructing new ports.

The scope is to identify innovations that allow to avoid, mitigate, and remediate the geomorphological and ecological impacts (i.e. coastal erosion and decline in marine ecology) associated with existing and planned commercial ports in West Africa. Proposed solutions will need to be innovative, feasible and sustainable, and may include: infrastructures to be implemented along the coast to control erosion from existing and planned new ports; infrastructures to be implemented at existing and planned new ports and lagoon systems to control water flows and sediment loads; operation and maintenance practices for existing and planned new ports; Public Private Partnerships (PPP) business models and contracting options for existing and planned new ports.


This is a three-stage competition where the top 10, 5, and 3 proposals will receive different degrees of visibility and recognition, which will be tailored depending on the type and content of their proposals. In particular:

  • The top-10 Longlisted competitors will see a summary description of their proposals in a WACA Innovation Book at the end of the competition;
  • The top-5 Shortlisted competitors will be invited to present their proposal to a Demo Day, a live and virtual audience of World Bank Managers, Partners, and Investors.  Their proposals will also be presented in the WACA Innovation Book.
  • The top-3 Winners will be invited after the Demo Day to individual follow-up meetings with the World Bank, in view of having their ideas pitched at an upcoming WACA Marketplace and receive additional media coverage.


Participants could be a single entity, or a consortium made of more entities. To be eligible, an entity must be a university (public or private), a research organization (public or private), or a private enterprise (i.e. an engineering firm, a construction firm, or a consulting group). An entity can only submit one application only.

Therefore, an entity that has already submitted a proposal, either alone or as part of a consortium, is not allowed to submit another proposal (either alone or as part of another consortium).

The Call for Innovation is open to proposals around the following four thematic challenges:

  • Thematic Challenge 1. Which type of infrastructure (green, grey, or a combination of both) could be put in place to manage the impact of port development and port management on sediment movements which lead to unwanted coastal erosion?
  • Thematic Challenge 2. Which planning measures and port and lagoon operation management practices could be taken upstream to reduce environmental impacts, coastal erosion and lagoon/canal water quality and flow management in particular?
  • Thematic Challenge 3. What new features of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) (i.e. Government Funding, Corporate or On-Balance Sheet Finance, Project Finance), business models, and contracting options could be proposed to take sustainability into account in the design and management of maritime transport related infrastructures?
  • Thematic Challenge 4. What are examples of good global practices in ports and lagoons management and successful case studies that could be proposed to West African countries to better manage the cumulative environmental impact of existing port operations and predict consequences of future infrastructures?

WACA Management Programme 2020 – HOW TO APPLY

To apply, download the form, fill it out and submit it via email to  [email protected] by July 1, 2020 (midnight Washington DC)


For More Information: Visit the Official Webpage of the World Bank Group Call for Innovation under the West Africa Coastal Areas Management Program

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