Progress in Eastern and Southern Africa

Issue number 10: December 2008

Message from the Director and seasons’ greetings

Good knowledge management that leads to better development results is a challenge for all of us. Systematic and strategic approaches to capturing, storing and sharing knowledge need to be built from the ground up. But this is not an easy task. While some knowledge is already recorded in documents, a great deal is unwritten ‘know-how’ that is embedded in the minds of people – intertwined with their knowledge and experience. Therefore, managing knowledge means managing people and processes. Success depends on making knowledge management relevant, by linking it to shared goals and objectives, learning and innovation.

The foundations of good knowledge management in the region must be developed in the projects and country programmes we support. Therefore, we need to build capacity for knowledge management in project and country programme teams, and foster opportunities for knowledge sharing between projects and across the region.

We hope that IFADAfrica, a regional knowledge network that will be launched in early 2009, will help to build and strengthen these foundations. IFADAfrica is an extension of FIDAfrique, an existing regional knowledge network in West and Central Africa. It will act as a pan-African network: embracing and strengthening the existing thematic networks in the region, and providing the support, advice and capacity building needed to ensure systematic learning and sharing of knowledge and experience.

Knowledge is at the heart of successful development work: where we are learning constantly and systematically by harvesting, analysing, documenting, disseminating and sharing lessons and experience in a dynamic process that leads to better results and impact on rural poverty. A great deal is already happening in the region. This issue of the newsletter highlights just a few examples.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy holiday season. I look forward to an exciting and productive New Year in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Ides de Willebois, Director, Eastern and Southern Africa Division

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Knowledge sharing for better development results

 
 

Participatory planning process with poverty mapping in the village

 

Over the past 15 years, many organizations in the public and private sectors have been looking at ways to capture and use knowledge more systematically. The idea is to learn, solve problems, build on successes and failures, and innovate in order to respond more quickly and effectively to challenges in a rapidly changing world. Knowledge management programmes are typically designed to facilitate the processes by which knowledge is created, shared and used within an organization and to make tools available to enhance human interaction, an essential part of knowledge sharing.

IFAD’s knowledge management strategy aims to strengthen knowledge sharing and learning processes at country and regional levels, and at headquarters. Through the strategy, IFAD strives to learn systematically from its own projects and programmes, and from the experience of its partners, particularly poor rural people, in order to deliver high-quality services, influence policies and develop new and innovative ways to empower poor rural people to lift themselves out of poverty. 

In the Eastern and Southern Africa region, a number of initiatives are already underway to promote strategic and systematic approaches to knowledge management. Thematic networks are supporting exchange, sharing and learning, as well as providing implementation support to IFAD-supported projects and programmes. These thematic networks include:

In addition, the regional knowledge network, IFADAfrica, will be getting underway in 2009 (see next article on IFADAfrica/FIDAfrique).

Other tools and approaches already being used include: the annual regional implementation workshops, which highlight learning in key thematic areas; project websites; and knowledge management and communication components or strategies in projects. Country programme teams provide a forum for sharing experience and lessons between projects. In addition, there are numerous review and reporting mechanisms, such as supervision reports, implementation reviews and evaluations, that provide opportunities for sharing lessons, experience and good practice.

In Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda a more grassroots-oriented approach to knowledge management is being applied through the Rural Knowledge Network, which uses the Linking Local Learners (LLL) approach to support peer-to-peer learning. Combining face-to-face exchange with an internet learning platform, LLL enables farmers, traders and others to learn together how to build profitable marketing chains and establish commercially viable businesses that provide marketing services to small farmers. (See the article on modern communication technology and market reform.)

As IFAD’s knowledge management strategy acknowledges, successful knowledge management builds on existing assets. All of these tools and approaches can be used more effectively for knowledge sharing: to ensure that lessons, experience and factors for success are made more accessible and shared more systematically.

Integrating knowledge management in a project

The Agricultural Support Programme in Mozambique, known by its Portuguese acronym, PAMA, provides a good example of practical approaches to knowledge management. PAMA, which started in 2001 and ends this year, was designed to promote smallholders’ access to markets. The programme did not have a formal knowledge management component, but developed practical approaches to learning and sharing during implementation.
“None of the team members had specific knowledge management experience and, at the early stages of implementation, we didn’t realize the need for defining a strategy,” explained Rui Ribeiro, PAMA project coordinator in Maputo. “It evolved later, when valuable experience was coming out of project components.”
PAMA’s project managers introduced learning and sharing activities structured around thematic areas. Reflection workshops, impact studies, stakeholder workshops and documentation processes enabled the project managers to continuously reinvent and realign implementation of activities.
PAMA’s managers embraced some of the prerequisites for successful knowledge management by: 

However, the programme’s knowledge management activities were limited by a lack of experience and dedicated resources. “Some tools were adopted too late, such as a webpage and video,” Ribeiro said. “Our strategy could have been more effective if it had been planned earlier with the assistance of a senior knowledge management expert.”
The PAMA experience did provide useful guidance during the design of a knowledge management component for the new IFAD-supported Rural Markets Promotion Programme (PROMER) in Mozambique. “For example, we recommended to PROMER that they have a well-defined knowledge management strategy from the beginning, covering all aspects,” said Ribeiro.

The component was developed in collaboration with Mozambique’s National Directorate for Planning and Rural Development (DNPDR). The component will support knowledge management by the PROMER management team and will also strengthen knowledge management capacity within DNPDR.

Adapting the value chain approach

PAMA’s knowledge management initiatives were inspired by an approach developed in Madagascar to link monitoring and evaluation (M&E), knowledge management and communication in a country programme. Supported by IFAD’s Innovation Mainstreaming Initiative (IMI), the approach adapts the value chain concept and applies it to knowledge and information sharing along a continuum of knowledge harvesting, analysis, synthesis and dissemination, where at each stage value is added by using different approaches and tools for packaging and sharing knowledge, according to the needs of the end users. For example, using monitoring and evaluation as an entry point, knowledge, lessons and experience are identified, and lessons are fed back into project activities; through use of knowledge management approaches and tools, technical papers and case studies are developed.

Stories aimed at a larger audience are written and published in the press to share successes and raise awareness of IFAD’s work in the country.

The approach represents a comprehensive source of information for government, project stakeholders, partners and IFAD itself. Known by its French acronym SEGS (Suivi, Evaluation, Gestion, Savoir), the approach is managed locally by the Country Programme Unit, CAPFIDA, based in Antananarivo.“ The idea behind the approach is to generate new knowledge and then add value at every stage to ensure we have a dynamic flow of information to reach the broadest possible number of partners and stakeholders,” said Benoit Thierry, Country Programme Manager for Madagascar.

Learning routes

 
 

Rosa Guamán, head of the Jambi Kiwa cooperative, shows participants the areas where members collect and sell medicinal herbs and tea

 

There is strong interest in the Eastern and Southern Africa region in adapting a knowledge management approach known as learning routes.

Developed by the Regional Programme for Rural Development Training (PROCASUR) in Latin America, the approach brings together a group of rural development partners to visit a number of development projects related to a particular theme. The group members interact with project managers, project participants and partners and give their own feedback. In this way, as they learn about the projects, they also share their own ideas about areas for improvement. Louise McDonald, IFAD Country Programme Manager for Swaziland, participated in the learning route on private enterprise and market linkage in Latin America. “We spent two weeks travelling around projects in Peru and Ecuador. It was intensive but extremely interesting,” said McDonald.  “For example, it made me reflect on the differences in social structure from one country to another.”

For further information, please contact:

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Success Stories from the Field


IFADAfrica: A regional network to promote knowledge sharing

The regional knowledge network, IFADAfrica, will be launched early in 2009 to promote knowledge sharing and innovation in the region. The network will connect people and organizations working in rural development in the region, enabling them to learn and share their experiences in rural poverty reduction in an effort to promote greater development effectiveness. 

IFADAfrica is funded by a three-year IFAD grant, co-managed by the West Africa Rural Foundation in Dakar, Senegal, and the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association in Nairobi, Kenya. Its activities will fall into four broad areas:

“The whole aim is to have a coordinated approach to learning across the IFAD-supported thematic networks and the IFAD-supported programmes in the region,” said Miriam Cherogony, IFADAfrica focal point, based in Nairobi.

IFADAfrica is an extension of FIDAfrique, a regional knowledge network in West and Central Africa. “FIDAfrique was extremely useful in bringing together projects and programmes in the region and sharing information,” said Benoit Thierry, Country Programme Manager at IFAD. “We felt we could set up something similar in Eastern and Southern Africa, with a view to creating a wider network for the whole of the sub-continent.”

IFAD-supported projects and programmes, and ultimately poor rural people across sub-Saharan Africa, will benefit from shared learning across the two networks. IFADAfrica will embrace and strengthen the existing thematic networks in Eastern and Southern Africa. It will also provide the support, advice and capacity building that IFAD-supported projects and programmes need in order to integrate knowledge management into their activities.

IFADAfrica will work mainly with two broad groups. Its main target group will include project staff and country programme management teams. Its other target group will be rural organizations, including farmers’ organizations, local networks and other regional thematic networks related to rural poverty reduction.

An interactive website will be hosted by FIDAfrique and will eventually link to the websites of projects and country programmes as they are established. On-line discussion forums on different themes will be held regularly, complemented by face-to-face thematic workshops. Results and conclusions will be published online.

“We will have moderated discussions, and once a theme is closed, we will publish a summary of the discussions before launching a new theme,” said Cherogony. The website will also contain a dedicated page where project information can be uploaded directly to share experiences, as well as a database of selected consultants in various fields.

In addition, there will be face-to-face interactions with the projects as well as cross-learning through exchange visits or learning routes. “We will introduce new technology- and non-technology-based knowledge management tools at every opportunity,” said Cherogony.

Furthermore, IFADAfrica will bridge linguistic barriers in the region, connecting French-, English- and Portuguese-speaking communities as well as rural development practitioners. All written products will be translated into these three languages and interpretation services will be provided for workshops and other events.

 “We want to facilitate the building of partnerships, linkages and synergies,” said Cherogony. “The idea is to keep knowledge creation close to the knowledge creators and owners, generate new knowledge from it and share costs by leveraging resources.”

For further information, please contact:

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Modern communication technology and market reform

 
 

Bahati Tweve, in Mafinga, Tanzania, accesses the internet through a local mobile phone network, using the modem in his solid state laptop

 

Mobile signal coverage is expanding fast in Tanzania. More and more people own and use mobile phones, and some are finding innovative ways to use them to enhance their earning potential. Internet connectivity in Tanzania is also evolving apace. Currently, few people in rural areas have access to the internet, and email exchange is still largely eclipsed by SMS and mobiles. But the speed of change is dramatic. For example, communication technologies that allow wireless access within a 30 km radius are spreading throughout Tanzania. The use of modems that enable access to the internet via the mobile phone network is also being tested in remote districts.

In this context, the First Mile, an initiative supported by IFAD and the Government of Switzerland and implemented in collaboration with the Agricultural Marketing Systems Development Programme (AMSDP) in Tanzania, is exploring how to link smallholder farmers to markets using modern information and communication technologies (ICTs). It is testing ways to ensure reliable and affordable ICT access along market chains in rural areas. At the same time, it is using an approach to knowledge sharing and learning that enables farmers, traders and others to learn together how to build profitable marketing chains and establish commercially viable businesses that provide marketing services to small farmers. The approach, Linking Local Learners, combines face-to-face exchange with use of an internet-based learning platform.

A significant amount of learning is emerging about how modern ICTs can have a positive impact on rural markets. By increasing the speed and efficiency of communication, mobile phones allow participants in a market chain to make comparisons, honour time-sensitive deals and better understand what happens along the value chain beyond their immediate trading partner.

ICTs can also help achieve transparency along marketing chains. Transparency means partners know whether they are entering into a fair deal and are guaranteed transaction security, even in places where rural markets are widely dispersed and deals require coordination between many small farmers to meet specific deadlines. Transparency eradicates current inefficiencies and distrust.

The First Mile’s main focus is now on making ICTs available to new businesses that provide marketing services to small farmers, broker deals between producers and buyers or processors (trade agents), and gather market intelligence – constantly updated information on market prices, supply and transport – at the main markets in each district. ICTs can help ensure that these businesses are continuously linked up with client farmers and market intermediaries.
 
Testing ICTs for market intelligence

The First Mile is running trials to assess what types of connectivity best suit the marketing needs of the new businesses providing value chain linkages, when on the move and in the office. The project is working with a small start-up company based in Zanzibar, called FUNEA Softnet, to pilot financial, operational and contractual arrangements for a rental service for ICT equipment. Together they are testing solid-state laptops along with suitable GPRS modems and broadband cable for internet access that will enhance business linkages for trade agents and market access companies, and enable them to maintain contact with one another.
 
At the same time, the First Mile is testing the viability of using the privately operated TradeNet.biz trading platform, which is already operating a market information system based in West Africa. These tests are identifying ways in which a network of market access companies can gather and share locally relevant but complex market intelligence and use it to run small businesses. As part of the trial, users should be able to use their mobile phones to send and receive SMS messages containing market information that will be uploaded onto the Tradenet.biz platform. In addition, they will be able to subscribe to an SMS ‘newsletter’ that will provide them with regular market intelligence updates.

Together these tools could revolutionize linkages between producers and other value chain operators, and provide the emerging market access companies with a solid basis from which to do business. Up-to-date market information, obtained through a simple SMS system, will be posted on information boards in towns and villages, effectively linking small producers to the internet trading platform.
 
Results from the trials are expected to emerge by early 2009.

For further information, please contact:

Clive Lightfoot, First Mile Technical Adviser
Email: clive.lightfoot@linkinglearners.net

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Storytelling: An age-old technique for sharing knowledge

Storytelling has existed for thousands of years in many different cultures as a means of sharing experiences, exchanging information and generating understanding. 

The use of storytelling as a technique for sharing knowledge in organizational settings is relatively new. However, it has been recognized as a useful way to aid reflection and transfer practical experience, including innovations, challenges, opportunities and how projects and programmes can influence policy. It also allows expression of tacit knowledge that might otherwise be difficult to share, because it enables the teller to highlight emotional aspects as well as facts.

Storytelling is a way to capture and articulate the human side of a story and illustrate the impact of our work on people’s lives. “A supervision mission is a physical assessment of a project. When we talk to people we get the human side of the project and its social aspects, which are just as important,” said Roxanna Samii, a knowledge management expert at IFAD.

Storytelling can also foster a sense of community, as stories bring people together and help build relationships and trust.

 

A quick guide to the main elements to cover in a story

  • Name of original teller
  • Name of listener
  • Landscape: set the scene in time and space
  • Dwelling place: precise location where action occurred
  • Characters: full name of interviewees, descriptive attributes and roles in story
  • Challenge: problem or task that triggered the action
  • Action: sequence of events before, during and after the turning point
  • Turning point: the moment when the change happens
  • Resolution: ending, including moral, lesson learned or message
  • Vision for future and aspirations
  • Photography or illustrations
 

To make your story compelling you need to share your experience with the reader: this is why it is important to describe the setting, including the landscape, the dwelling and your interviewees.

Following is a story captured and written by Roxanna Samii, and is based on conversations and interviews conducted during a supervision and implementation support mission in Mauritius in June 2008.

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Rodrigues Island, Mauritius: Soaring food and fuel prices eat into poor people’s livelihoods

The fish stock in the spectacular lagoon of the island of Rodrigues is becoming depleted. As a result, octopus fishers like Lima Casmir need to find alternative sources of income.

Agriculture: engine of growth

 
 

Lima Casmir working in her vegetable plot

 

The IFAD-funded Rural Diversification Programme has helped Casmir diversify her livelihood. Now agriculture is her main income-generating activity.

"I know that fishing alone cannot give me enough money," says Casmir. "I could not satisfy my family’s needs because there are not enough fish in the lagoon. Now I work in agriculture.”

Near her house, Casmir has a well-kept vegetable plot. She walks through a mangrove to get to the plot where she grows onions, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, cassava, sweet potatoes and maize. "Planting these crops ensures a secure source of income for me. Because I know that when I plant onions I will harvest onions and I can sell them at the market," she says.

"I sell my onions for 18 Rps per kilogram. Last year I had one tonne of onions!" she says. "But it is hard work, you know."

High prices for food and fuel

The main market on the island of Rodrigues is located at Port Mathurin. "Whenever I have enough products, I rent a stall at the market," says Casmir. "The market is quite far from where I live. I have to get up at 3 a.m. to be ready to be picked up by the lorry at 4 a.m."

"I stay at the market until noon, which is the closing time, and I take the bus back home."

Six months ago, Casmir used to pay 40 Rps for a round trip bus ticket. Now that rising fuel prices have also hit the remote island of Rodrigues, the ticket costs double, and she has to pay 80 Rps for the same trip.

Last week, Casmir awoke in the middle of the night, packed 10 kilograms of tomatoes, 30 heads of lettuce and 2.5 kilograms of fresh octopus in baskets and set off to the market. She sold her tomatoes for 200 Rps, her lettuce for 150 Rps and the fresh octopus for 450 Rps. That day Casmir took in 800 Rps.

"I had two baskets. The lorry man charged me 40 Rps per basket. So I paid 160 Rps for my transportation each way and 30 Rps for the stall rental," says Casmir.

"On the way back home I bought 1 kilogram of powdered milk for 150 Rps and 500 grams of dried meat for 120 Rps. In the end, after expenses, I was left with 180 Rps.

"Everything is more expensive now. Before I could afford to buy two baguettes of bread for 6 Rps. Now I can afford to buy only one, for 5 Rps," says Casmir. "This means the children have less bread to eat."

Soaring food and fuel prices have had a negative impact on Casmir's livelihoods. Her purchasing power has decreased dramatically, and at this point in time she cannot raise the prices of her products to compensate for higher food prices because of the fierce competition. As a result, her family has less food on the table and is eating less.

The increase in fuel prices has forced Casmir to sell directly from her house. "I cannot afford to pay so much to the lorry man, so now I tell people to come to the house to buy vegetables," says Casmir. "This means I do not get to see the other women as often as I would like to, and I feel left out."

Once a fisher, always a fisher

 
 

Dried and salted octopus, ready to be packaged

 

Every so often Casmir leaves the house at 5.30 a.m. and sets off for the lagoon to fish for octopus. She takes her son’s boat to go to her ‘office’ — a vast lagoon that opens onto the Indian Ocean. Her office furniture includes the boat and magnificent coral reefs.

Casmir walks the lagoon with an iron rod slung over her shoulder, and when she feels or sees an octopus, she uses the rod to catch her prey. She pulls out the octopus and fixes it to the rope attached to the rod, then continues her hunt. She works without damaging the reef.

She dries and salts her catch. The Rural Diversification Programme has trained Casmir to package dried octopus in a way that complies with hygiene and sanitation norms. It takes her an hour to cut and prepare a dried octopus pack weighing 100 grams, which she sells for 90 Rps. "At heart I am still a fisher and fishing is what I enjoy most, so whenever I get to go out and fish, I feel re-energized," says Casmir.

The challenges ahead

 
 

Rising electricity and fuel prices are forcing Rodrigan families to cook over wood fires

 

Rising food and fuel prices present a major challenge for poor and disadvantaged people on Rodrigues. The cost of living has almost doubled. Although food riots like those which have occurred in Haiti and Egypt are unlikely in Rodrigues, poor families there struggle to keep enough food on the table. To save on electricity some families are cooking over wood fires and others are using their vegetable plots for subsistence farming. The challenges ahead are to ensure food and nutrition security for poor rural people on the island and to avoid a reversal of the crucial gains made by the IFAD-funded Rural Diversification Programme.

For further information, please contact:

Roxanna Samii, Manager, Web, Knowledge and Distribution Services
Email: r.samii@ifad.org

Other useful links:

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News & events



South Africa finds in Brazil innovative responses to its rural development challenges

 
 

Thozy Gwanya, DG Land Affairs, SA, talk to Brazilian Minister for Agrarian Development, Guilherme Cassel during X REAF

 

A high-level delegation from the South African Government, headed by Mr Thozy Gwanya, Director General for Land Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, visited Brazil in November. The purpose of the visit was to enable the delegation to learn about the different ways in which middle income countries engage with IFAD. The visit focused on public policy and support mechanisms for agrarian reform and small-scale farmers' settlements. The delegation participated in the 10th meeting of the Specialized Meeting on Family Farming (REAF) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 22 to 28 November. REAF is an advisory body of the Common Market Group of the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR) regional trade block. REAF is an example of successful experience in IFAD-supported policy dialogue in the MERCOSUR community. It provides the Common Market Group with recommendations on family farming issues agreed by governments and small farmer organizations of the MERCOSUR member countries. The REAF was created in 2004, following a proposal from the Brazilian government supported by family farming organizations in the region, and its Technical Secretariat operates with IFAD funding. 
 
Prior to the REAF meeting, the South African delegation visited the Dom Helder Camara project, an IFAD-supported rural development project for agrarian reform settlements in the semi-arid northeast of Brazil. The project uses participatory, partnership and empowerment approaches that are influencing rural development policies in the country. The delegates also had the opportunity to learn about Brazil’s renewal energy programmes and how Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil company, is improving family farming income through its biodiesel national strategy. They had expressed interest in learning about experiences in bio-fuels development through technologies that do not compete with food production and do not threaten food security.

 Related links

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Knowledge Share Fair – 20-22 January, Rome

 
 

Thozy Gwanya, South Africa's Director-General of Land Affairs, right, and Andile Hawes, Deputy Director General, Production and Resources Management, Department of Agriculture, during a field visit in Brazil.

 

Country loans  

FAO-IFAD-WFP, CGIAR and Bioversity are organizing a Knowledge Share Fair from 20-22 January 2009. The share fair will take place at FAO and showcase examples of knowledge-sharing strategies, policies and operational practices using case studies, anecdotes and face-to-face events.

At the share fair, 30- to 45-minute training sessions will be held on how to use different knowledge sharing methods and tools. If you are interested in attending the knowledge-sharing training, please send a message to Roxanna Samii (r.samii@ifad.org).

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Eastern and Southern Africa Division launches its financial management and good governance internet site

 
 

Screen shot of financial management and good governance website

 

This site has been set up as a knowledge management repository on financial management and good governance. IFAD staff and project officers can find training material, guidance and background information on a range of topics and issues. The site also provides links to relevant web sites as well as specific documents.

Topics include:

The site was officially launched in November during the regional implementation workshop in Uganda, and it will continue to be developed over the next several months.

For further information, please contact:

Ruth Farrant, Financial Management Officer
Eastern and Southern Africa Division
Email: r.farrant@ifad.org

Related links

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IMAWESA sets up new online blog

The IFAD-supported Programme for Improved Management of Agricultural Water in Eastern and Southern Africa (IMAWESA) has introduced a knowledge-sharing platform on its website to encourage members and other stakeholders to communicate and share knowledge and information directly. The new Water for Agriculture Blog publishes members’ papers, presentations and other materials and provides a forum for on-line discussion on water. IMAWESA is a knowledge management project designed to influence attitudes, policies and investment priorities in agricultural water management.

To join the forum, go to the IMAWESA website at www.asareca.org/imawesa, click on “Water for Agriculture Blog”, and then click on the icon “Register”. After registration, you will receive an automatic password sent to your email address, which you can change if you wish.


IMAWESA hosts the 3rd Regional Conference on Agricultural Water Management in Eastern and Southern Africa

Virtual meetings are taking place more frequently, but the value of the face-to-face meeting still holds. It was in this spirit that the 3rd biennial Regional Conference on Agricultural Water Management (AWM) in Eastern and Southern Africa was held at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 15-19 September 2008.

Organized by IMAWESA together with partners (The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, the United Nations Organization for Project Services and IFAD), the conference was also supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank Institute and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

IMAWESA staff have observed that good news on investments in AWM often go unreported or are underrated, and there is a need to build the confidence of investors, practitioners and other stakeholders in the sub-sector in order to stimulate interest and mobilize resources. To respond, the conference theme was “investing in water management for agriculture pays”. The conference was attended by 120 experts engaged in AWM policy, advocacy, financing, research, programme management and implementation and other stakeholders, to identify effective means to promote the implementation of and investment in AWM interventions.

The conference was opened by Dr. Abera Deresa, State Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Events included keynote presentations in plenary and thematic presentations in parallel sessions, facilitated discussions, poster and video exhibits, and field trips to four project sites. Special presentations were made by farmers from 15 countries who attended the conference, showcasing their innovations

The climax of the conference was the Policy Round Table meeting, held on the final day and attended by senior policy makers. During the meeting, the conference deliberations were reviewed and recommendations formulated. These can be summarized as follows:

Key recommendations

The synthesis report, full proceedings supporting documentation are available at www.asareca.org/imawesa.

For further information, please contact:

Bancy M. Mati, Regional Facilitator for IMAWESA
Email: b.mati@cgiar.org

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Regional implementation workshop 2008

The region’s implementation workshop 2008 took place on 10-14 November in Kampala, Uganda. Discussions focused on the theme “Public-private partnerships: the future of agricultural development”. A report on the workshop will be published in the next edition of the newsletter.

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Grants, loans and COSOPS to be presented to the December Executive Board

Regional grants

Country loans and grants

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Grants, loans and COSOPs approved by the September Executive Board

Country grants

Country loans

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Appointments

Geoffrey Livingston has been appointed Regional Economist for the Eastern and Southern Africa Division. He is an agricultural economist by training and has worked in Africa for a number of years on agro-business development. He joins us from the International Fertilizer Development Centre, USA where he worked as Chief of Party, CATALIST Project for Rwanda.    
Karina Brons Nielsen joined the Eastern and Southern Africa Division on 20 October as an Associate Professional Officer (APO). She previously worked as an APO in the Near East and North Africa Division
Giovanna Brandizi joined the Eastern and Southern Africa Division on 18 November to assist in the Front Office. She previously worked in the Front Office of the West and Central Africa Division.

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