The IFADafrica Programme initial workshop was held on April 20-22, 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya. It gathered over 120 participants from IFAD Projects and Programmes in Sub Sahara Africa, Thematic Networks in Eastern and Southern Africa, and partners from Latin America and Asia (Enrap, IFADAmerica).
The meeting marked the inception of a new Sub Saharan network to promote knowledge and innovation sharing for the sake of poverty alleviation in rural Africa. The programme which had been approved by IFAD in April 2008 includes three key technical components: Capacity Building, Knowledge Management and Dissemination, and Support for Policy Dialogue. WARF which is the recipient of the grant is in charge of coordinating the activities: General Coordination (Sub Sahara Africa) and Specific Coordination (West and Central Africa). The African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), coordinates the network activities in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Day 1 of the workshop was devoted to experience sharing between the various networks which had the opportunity to showcase their knowledge management methodologies and tools.
On Day 2 the participants managed to achieve one of the key objectives of the workshop which was to draft action plans for each of the three technical components. The action plans are expected to be the basis of the development of the network AWPB. Both coordination units also identified common activities such as the development of an interactive Web Portal (renovated version of www.fidafrique.net Site).
The issues of governance, partnership, and sustainability were pervasive on Day 3 of the Nairobi Workshop. The participants validated the key proposals made by IFAD West and Central Africa Projects during a strategic reflection on IFADAfrica held in July 2008.
In compliance with the requirements of the Programme Document, the Steering Committee which is a key governance body of the network was successfully established. The Committee whose members are from IFAD Projects and Programmes, regional networks of farmer organizations, the public sector, and international partners active in knowledge management, is expected to hold its first meeting in June 2009 in Dakar at WARF Head Office.
The overall IFADAfrica Programme is worth US$ 3,930,000 in three years of implementation. IFAD contribution as a grant is US$2,000,000. The Steering Committee and the General Coordination are expected to mobilize additional resources with the support of IFAD Projects and other partners.
In the aftermath of the Nairobi Workshop, there was a two day initiation meeting on Knowledge Management Tools and Methodologies (April 23-24) during which the participants discovered experience capitalization methodologies such as WARF methodology which had been successful in West and Central Africa since the start of IFADAfrica second phase. Moreover, IFADAfrica Coordination Team introduced the network technical platform by emphasizing the interfaces earmarked for IFAD Projects, the creation of email accounts, and management of the Web pages in fidafrique.net Website. The platform was last updated in March 2009. It contains the latest versions of the Website content management programmes in view of expanding the network throughout Sub Sahara Africa.
6 March 2009