Issue 22 – March 2013

Opening message

   
 

 

ESA Regional Director with participants at the RIW in Addis Ababa © IFAD    

The year-end holiday season was a time for family gatherings, where we reunited and reconnected with loved ones. It was also a time to reflect on personal and professional performance and formulate plans and resolutions for the coming year. On the professional front, we got a head start on this professional reflection during the Regional Implementation Workshop (RIW) in Addis Ababa during the week of November 12th.


I found the four day workshop interesting, thought provoking and fun. It was different to many RIWs in which I have participated; formal PowerPoint presentations were held to a minimum (Amen!) and pride of place was given to stimulating panel discussions, subsequent exchanges among participants and a very informative poster session which really was “knowledge management in action”! Several external interventions from United Nations agencies, international research centres and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) enriched the discussions by providing an external viewpoint on IFAD’s operating environment. This is healthy as it forces us to move out of our “bubble” and examine some of the conventional wisdom which we no longer question but should.

We owe a big Thank You to the Government of Ethiopia and IFAD country office and all others involved for the enormous effort deployed to organize the workshop. You did a fantastic job under difficult conditions. A heartfelt Amasiginalu.

It is an exciting time to work in development in East and Southern Africa. There has, perhaps, never been more cause for reasoned optimism in the last 50 years. Several economies in East and Southern Africa are registering yearly GDP growth in excess of 7 percent, the middle classes are developing at unprecedented rates, creating demand for raw and processed agricultural products, foreign direct investment continues a sharply positive trend and infant mortality has decreased in a spectacular fashion. We are no longer just imagining light at the end of the tunnel. We are seeing it.

However, it is still far away for the vast majority of clients whom we seek to serve. A photograph presented by Dr Hatibu during his keynote address perfectly captures how far the smallholder has come, yet also how far she has to go. I speak of the image of a young woman in her field, a cell phone in one hand and a hand hoe in the other. There is reason to hope that in five years’ time, her hand will be on a mechanized tiller or tractor and the hoe will be relegated to a corner in the shed.

I hope that we can incorporate and apply much of what we learned and discussed during those four days in Addis. Best wishes for a happy and productive 2013.

Geoffrey Livingston,
Regional Economist, IFAD
g.livingston@ifad.org


Sustaining Impact of Development Projects: Report from the Regional Implementation Workshop held in November in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

   
 

 

Field visit to the Pastoral Community Development Project phase II (PCDP II). Intervention in the Gelcha Kebele/Community of Fentale Woreda/District © IFAD    

Addis Ababa means ‘New Flower’ in Amharic, Ethiopia’s ancient national language, and the name still seems apt despite the capital’s 21st century sprawl. New, modern buildings are under construction throughout the city, while a youthful populace fills its streets and squares. Beyond the fringes of Addis and a few other cities, however, Ethiopia as a whole is predominantly rural. So is the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, where more than two-thirds of the population is employed in the agricultural sector, mainly as small-scale farmers and livestock herders. That proportion may decline as young rural migrants flock to urban centres in search of opportunities they can’t find at home. Nevertheless, smallholder agriculture remains central to the lives of most people on the continent.

Which leads to one of the biggest questions facing Africa today: To ensure their own food security and to feed a rapidly growing population – including the inhabitants of Addis and other teeming cities – how can its farmers sustainably boost their productivity in the years ahead?

Proven approaches

With this question in mind, coordinators from IFAD-supported projects in Ethiopia and 16 other countries in East and Southern Africa gathered in Addis on 12-16 November 2012 for their annual Regional Implementation workshop. The 200-plus participants convened to exchange practical knowledge and experiences. Hosted by IFAD’s country office and the Government of Ethiopia, they spent four days taking a clear-eyed look at lessons learned from working with smallholders at the grass roots.

   
 

 

A guard looking after an IFAD water pump in the Gelcha Kebele/Community © IFAD    

The workshop’s main goal was to identify and share proven development approaches that can reduce rural poverty over the long term. By bringing these approaches to scale, IFAD and its partners – beginning with the farmers themselves – can plant the seeds of lasting change. As United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ethiopia, Eugene Owusu, said in a welcoming statement to the participants: Africa has enough untapped land and natural resources “to feed not only itself, but the whole world.”

However,  the discussions in Addis also confirmed that the rural poor in East and Southern Africa still faces great obstacles. Like Ethiopia itself, which is home to scores of distinct ethnic groups and languages, the region is extremely heterogeneous. It includes several of the fastest growing economies in the world, along with some of sub-Saharan Africa’s poorest and most fragile states. Rising food prices and underdeveloped markets, as well as inadequate roads and irrigation systems, pose serious challenges for smallholder households.

‘On the right track’

IFAD Regional Economist Geoffrey Livingston and Regional Director Périn Saint Ange acknowledged these and other challenges in their comments at the Addis workshop. Yet both speakers found solid grounds for optimism.

“The continent is on the right track,” Livingston said, citing strong overall economic growth and an increase in foreign direct investment in Africa. He noted that IFAD’s loan portfolio supports 55 on-going programmes and projects in East and Southern Africa, with an average loan size of US$24 million. And for every dollar in IFAD investment, governments and other donors contribute 1.6 dollars in co-financing. With this level of commitment, combined with effective project management, Livingston asserted, IFAD can make a real difference. “There are a lot of people depending on all of us,” he said.

Saint Ange pointed to reforms in policy and governance that have begun to ease trade barriers in the region. At the local level, he said, poor rural people – and particularly women and youth – have gained a greater voice in making decisions about their futures. He went on to remind participants that IFAD’s regional portfolio, which now stands at US$1.3 billion, will grow to US$1.5 billion by 2015.

In addition, Saint Ange said, up to US$100 million in grant funding will be available for innovative projects addressing the impact of climate change under IFAD’s new Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme. “Agriculture has the greatest potential for transforming the lives of the rural poor,” he concluded.

Beyond business as usual

Still, there was a widely shared recognition in Addis that IFAD-supported operations must step up their efforts and results in order to achieve such a transformation. The message was clear: Overcoming regional challenges and meeting IFAD’s ambitious targets for rural poverty reduction will mean reaching well beyond business as usual.

Saint Ange called upon project coordinators and IFAD staff in East and Southern Africa to build on successes and learn from failures through more systematic evaluations of the impact of their operations.

“We are good at this, but we can do more and better,” Saint Ange said. “We are encouraged by the success that we are having on the ground. It is not enough, but the glass is filling quickly.”

Moving forward

There was no shortage of ideas in Addis about how to do more. From sessions on more rigorous project design and analysis to debates about linking agricultural research directly to on-going projects, the participants maintained a spirited dialogue throughout the workshop.

And that spirit extended from the meeting rooms to the field, via a series of visits to projects in the areas around Addis. The visits provided a first-hand look at rural finance, irrigation and pastoral community development projects supported by IFAD in Ethiopia, as well as direct meetings with the people served and empowered by these initiatives.

“In Africa, the spirit of sharing is homegrown,” IFAD’s Ethiopia Country Director, Robson Mutandi, said as the workshop wrapped up. “We can never move forward if we are not open about our programmes.” Mutandi thanked everyone in attendance for engaging in an open discussion – in effect, for letting 100 flowers bloom in the ‘New Flower’ of Africa. “Let’s hope that together,” he said, “we can make this big challenge of moving rural people out of poverty a success.”

For more information:

Stephen Twomlow, Climate and Environmental Specialist, IFAD
s.twomlow@ifad.org

Geoffrey Livingston, Regional Economist, IFAD
g.livingston@ifad.org

Robson Mutandi, IFAD Country Director, Ethiopia
r.mutandi@ifad.org

Périn Saint Ange, Regional Director, IFAD
p.saintange@ifad.org


A new direction for the East and Southern Africa Division: Périn Saint Ange's vision

   
 

 

Périn Saint Ange, ESA Director, at the RIW in Addis Ababa © IFAD    

The East and Southern Africa (ESA) Division's new Regional Director, Périn Saint-Ange, gave a keynote speech at the Regional Implementation Workshop in Addis Ababa, in which he delivered his vision and objectives for the division.

"There are currently 200 million rural poor in East and Southern Africa, it is a reminder of the importance of the role we have to play as an organisation focused on agriculture and rural development," he said. As he highlighted, 75 percent of poor people live in rural areas, 33 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from farming, and the agriculture sector employs 67 percent of the workforce. IFAD's work is key in helping to ease the pressure on the too many communities living on less than US$1.25. "World food prices go up, they rarely go down, we have to make sure the communities can get through it as we try to reduce some of the major insecurities," he added.

In the horn of Africa alone, the food crisis has affected no less than 12 million people, while the rest of Africa is suffering from recurrent droughts and other climate-related disasters. As a result, Africa needs productivity transformation gains of 80 percent to produce more food for more people, which can only be achieved by addressing the issues of inadequate infrastructure and the adverse enabling environment, among others.

A time for new opportunities

Despite all the challenges, a number of positive indicators have come to the fore in recent years. The economy is growing, regional trade is on the increase, regional organisations have strengthened and governance has improved. For instance, eight countries in ESA, namely Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia are among the fastest economies in the world, with a growing private sector for processing and marketing. "Despite all the challenges, Africa is awake, at a time when the East is rising very fast, this is very encouraging," said Saint Ange.

In many Sub-Sahara African countries, yields are on the increase, even if the continent average yield is still half of India's and a quarter of China's, at 2 tons per hectare. For instance, in Mozambique, cereal yields have gone up to 5/6 tons per hectare, a very encouraging signal that Africa can do better, said Saint Ange.

Nevertheless, more work still needs to be done to unleash the potential of the young in particular. In ESA alone, the 50 million of 15 to 24 year-old youths make up 20 percent of the rural population. "Agriculture is one of the few sectors that has the transformative power to change and has the greatest potential for the transformation of the lives of rural poor. We need to help the young to do more in rural areas," he added.

A rural development strategy

According to IFAD's strategic framework, agricultural development has to be country driven. In East and Southern Africa in particular, rural development should primarily focus on agricultural growth and sustainable management of resources, non-farm rural enterprise development, better infrastructure and rural institutions, as well as capacity building and institutional support. "The West is struggling, but IFAD still has the capacity to leverage millions of dollars for the benefit of rural development," said Saint Ange, "we have to make good use of the resources available with a view to up-scaling. We need to do more and better."

In his view, IFAD can go further in its role of rural development financier and facilitator. It must be geared to providing international public service goods, linking up on best practices within the international community and bringing in rigor, neutrality and trust.

Outlook for ESA

IFAD projects and programmes in ESA have benefited substantially from IFAD in-country presence, which should be further reinforced to allow the capacity-building of the in-country teams and to make more use of local knowledge. Equally, technical support in the countries should be increased, as well as programme management teams.

In terms of design, IFAD projects need to regularly revisit their design methodology to ensure that investments make results and yields for poverty reduction. "We must pursue more excellence in project design and implementation," said Saint Ange, "we need to focus more on the long term, with commodity value enhancement rather than commodity exports."

Furthermore, more attention needs to be given to climate change, and to promoting climate smart agricultural practices and approaches. In that respect, Mozambique was the first country to benefit from IFAD’s new climate change programme, the Adaptation for Smallholder Agricultural Programme (ASAP), launched in 2012 to channel climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers through IFAD-supported programmes.

Measuring success is also an important aspect of the work, as the division needs to ensure it has the measurement systems able to monitor performance, success and failure. "We need to report the successes we have had as well as monitor and record change taking place in rural areas." said Saint Ange.

Looking beyond, IFAD's projects in ESA need to develop more partnerships and collaborations, recognise the work of other agencies and engage in continuous innovations with a view to up-scaling successful projects.

For more information:

IFAD in East and Southern Africa
http://www.ifad.org/operations/projects/regions/pf/index.htm

Addressing climate change in East and Southern Africa
http://www.ifad.org/operations/projects/regions/pf/pub/climate.pdf

Périn Saint Ange, Regional Director, IFAD
p.saintange@ifad.org


The annual Portfolio Performance Review, July 2011-June 2012

The 2012 Regional Implementation Workshop  provided the forum to present the annual Portfolio Performance Report for the East and Southern Africa Division.

   
 

 

Geoffrey Livingston presenting the annual Portfolio Performance Review at the RIW © IFAD    

"This year we report very much a glass half-full, half-empty" said Geoffrey Livingston, IFAD's Regional Economist, when presenting the review he compiled. "On the one hand we witness a rapidly growing middle class, increasing domestic and regional demand, with regional tourism shooting up. However, on the other hand, we also notice serious problems of declining soil fertility, increased frequency of climate-change related weather events, and a massive deficit in rural infrastructure." he added. 

For the period July 2011 to June 2012, which is covered by the report, the total investment portfolio for the ESA Division went up by US$231 million to US$1.3 billion, of which 98 percent was financed by highly concessional loan terms or grants.

Currently 55 projects are on-going, of which: 32 projects were initiated by IFAD, but benefit from partners co-financing; 18 projects are exclusively financed by IFAD; and five projects were initiated by other institutions and co-financed by IFAD. Out of the 22 member countries in the region, 18 were borrowing from IFAD. In the course of the past year, six new projects were approved, three benefited from additional financing loans and eight projects entered into force. In addition, two countries joined the portfolio in the course of the year, namely South Sudan with the Southern Sudan Livelihoods Development Project and Botswana with the Agricultural Services Support Project, the first IFAD-funded one in 16 years.

Regarding fiduciary aspects, the numbers were relatively stable with a slight increase of 0.6 percent in disbursement, and a one point drop in disbursement lag to 12 percent. However, seven projects still report a worrisome disbursement lag of over 40 percent, a figure nevertheless down from nine projects last year.  "The overall trend in the current loan portfolio is that we have more countries, more money, and more co-financing, as well as a larger increase in the average project size," said Livingston.

In terms of project design and implementation, the results are somewhat mixed, with some projects performing extremely well and others facing difficulties. "In some cases the project designs do not fully use the lessons learnt, sometimes the design is over complex with too many ministries involved and too many implementing agencies," commented Livingston.

However, projects had good results regarding gender and poverty targeting, as well as sustainability. "They are strong on empowerment, beneficiary participation and replication, but the institution building and the exit strategy remains a weakness," he added.

IFAD's target is to get 80 million people out of poverty by the end of the 9th replenishment period in 2015. To achieve this target, projects in the ESA division will have to improve on their design and implementation processes and give greater attention to partnerships and co-financing. "The increased in-country presence is a way forward, but we also need to simplify the project design and expedite the project start," concluded Livingston, "we need to do more and better, and in a more creative way."

For more information:

Geoffrey Livingston, Regional Economist, IFAD
g.livingstone@ifad.org


Successful examples of sustaining impact: microfinance projects in Ethiopia

Rural women pool savings and credit in the Oromia region

Shunda Wata and her husband stand in the shade, speaking to a group of visitors about how much their lives have improved in recent years. Beside the couple, several of their cattle are tethered to a tree under the dappled midday sunlight. Nearby, bales of straw are piled almost as high as the corrugated metal roof of their modest but solid home.

   
 

 

A RUSACCO in the Oromia region © IFAD    

Wata, 50, is a member of an IFAD-supported rural savings and credit cooperative – or RUSACCO – here in Werjawoshgula village, located in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. The cooperative provides its members, all of whom are women, with affordable loans for the farming and livestock needs of their households. It also offers the women training in financial literacy and self-sufficiency, along with savings services that allow them to set aside a portion of their earnings.

For Wata, who has received and repaid six loans from the RUSACCO, the availability of credit has been life-changing. Her first loan was for 266 Ethiopian birr, or about US$15, to buy seed stocks. Her most recent loan, for cattle trading, is almost 10 times that amount. 

"These loans have released us from paying the very high interest rates charged by local lenders," Wata says, speaking through an interpreter in Oromo, the local language. 

The funds have enabled Wata and her husband to quadruple their cattle herd to eight animals and to grow wheat and maize more productively using improved seed and fertilizer. With the extra income generated from these investments they have built, furnished and installed electricity in their house, and even accrued some savings. Furthermore, they have been able to cover the family's medical bills and school fees for their four children – including a son in college and a daughter who has graduated with a degree and is now employed as a civil servant.

Accountable and sustainable

The RUSACCO's economic and social benefits for Wata's family are clear, but Wata is more than a beneficiary. In fact, she chairs the cooperative's management board, and she is far from alone in taking an active role. The group's General Assembly meets annually to elect the board and other membership-based committees that oversee auditing, credit and education activities. 

By controlling their own affairs in this way, the women help to ensure accountability in the cooperative's business dealings and the sustainability of its savings and credit services. 

Registered in mid-2007, the RUSACCO began operating in January 2008 with 15 founding members and initial capital of US$120. Its membership has grown to 50 since then, and its outstanding loan portfolio now totals more than US$6,000. The cooperative's total current assets – including loans, shares, reserves and members' cash and in-kind savings – amount to almost US$7,300.

The RUSACCO took flight under the Rural Financial Intermediation Programme (RUFIP), which IFAD co-financed with the African Development Bank. Now in its second phase, the nationwide initiative recognizes that poor people living in rural areas, especially women, need regular access to credit in order to increase their assets and diversify their income sources. The programme supports thousands of local microfinance institutions and cooperatives, making basic financial services available to Ethiopian smallholders who have little or no collateral. By training participants to use and manage such services, it also helps them build confidence and reinforces a culture of savings and credit. 

'A sense of ownership'

In the case of the RUSACCO, chaired by Shunda Wata, that cultural influence extends to children in the community. Through child savings accounts offered by the cooperative, they are encouraged to maintain accounts with small monthly deposits that will accumulate over time. 

The cooperative's adult shareholders need no cultural reinforcement when it comes to making good on their debts, however. To date, the RUSACCO has a recovery rate of 100 per cent on the loans it has made. Wata and other members attribute that success to strong social pressures arising from a deep-seated tradition of fair play. In any case, all loan applications are carefully screened and decided on by the credit committee, while the management board determines whether borrowers are using funds for the intended purposes. 

Although the RUSACCO has links to other financial institutions in Oromia, it still struggles with maintaining enough capital to meet the needs of its borrowers. In addition, the women involved need further training to properly manage and staff the cooperative, which would be stronger and more resilient with a larger membership.

Despite these challenges, the RUSACCO in Werjawoshgula is making a difference – not only for Wata and her family, but for the village as a whole. When Wata's visitors leave her home and gather in the cooperative's office nearby, they ask one of the younger villagers about the significance of the enterprise. "We have developed a sense of ownership," she tells them. "We are making our members visionaries."


Successful clients of regional Micro Finance Institution ready to go a step further

Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) are well established in Ethiopia, and because of their large scale and the way they operate, they don't always target the poorest people. As a result, smaller MFIs have come to the fore to better serve the isolated rural market segment. The Buusa Gonofa (BG) Micro Finance Institution was established over ten years ago to provide financial services to isolated communities in the Oromia region to help them improve their livelihoods. It was created by the locally based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), HUNDEE. 

"We started as a NGO and got our MFI licence from the National Bank of Ethiopia in 2000," said Fokasa Arba, General Manager of all of the MFI's eight branches in the Oromia region. "Most of our clients are landless smallholder farmers, particularly women. They are involved in a number of income generating activities to make ends meet, and require loans to finance such activities." Buusa Gonofa's target is the lowest income groups in rural and isolated areas. 

In 2005, BG was able to scale up operations thanks to the support of the Rural Financial Intermediation Programme (RUFIP), an IFAD-support project which is now entering into its second phase, after a successful first run. As part of its financial products, BG offers two main types of loans: a general purpose loan to finance income generating activities, which accounts for 80 percent of its portfolio, and an agricultural loan to finance strictly agricultural activities, such as the purchase of inputs. The first type of loan incurs an annual interest of 18 percent, while the latter charges interest of 24 percent. "Borrowing rates are very high in Ethiopia, as an MFI we can get loans from a commercial bank at a rate of about 16 percent, and that's with a donor's guarantee," said Fokasa.

Each loan is individual but with a joint group member liability, which means that if one MFI member defaults on repayments, the other members have a responsibility, thus generating social pressure on each member. The average first loan is about US$55, but it increases by US$25 for each repeat cycle, based on the successful repayment of previous loans. The overall average loan balance rose from US$84 in 2008 to US$109 in 2012, for a total number of 55,424 clients.

Successful clients ready to go beyond the MFI

   
 

 

Asnaketch Feyessa preparing injera with her employee © Dominique Magada    

Asnaketch Feyessa is a member of the Chencho branch, a small market town an hour north of Addis, and is one of the most successful members of the MFI. She took her first loan about 10 years ago, when she borrowed 300 birr (US$17) to start an injera business. Injera is the national pancake-like bread made of tef, a cereal which grows mainly in Ethiopia. It is part of the daily diet and is also used to eat meat and vegetables in replacement a cutlery. The preparation is quite lengthy as the dough has to be fermented for a couple of days.

Asnaketch needed the initial funds to build the clay oven used to cook injera. At the time, she was living in cheap accommodation provided by the local council, where she had no kitchen or cooking facilities. Her business took off, she got many customers who came daily to buy her injera, and she was able to borrow more money to buy a cow to sell milk. She went back to the MFI several times as her business continued to expand. Her husband was also employed in the business and his salary was used to repay the loan.

Today, she has reached the limit of what her local MFI can offer. The last loan she took out amounted to 30,000 birr (US$1,700) representing 100 times her initial loan. In addition to her flourishing injera business, she runs a small café/bar where guests can eat simple food and drink alcohol, she owns five cows, as well as sheep and goats, and she has built a house for herself and her family. She has three employees, supports nine people, including her own four children, and has plans to expand into the transport business and open a bigger shop. She would like to involve her grown-up son in the business, so he could resign from his low-paid government job, but her problem now is the lack of adequate funding.

   
 

 

Asnaketch Feyessa inside her house in Chancho, Oromia region © Dominique Magada    

In her community, she is no longer considered poor. However, she is not wealthy enough to move up to a commercial bank, as her assets are not sufficient as collateral for a commercial loan.  Unfortunately, no institution is in the market to serve her needs and the needs of people who have been able to graduate from small rural MFIs. "Our loans have a maximum amount of 30,000 birr, we don't have the capacity to go further, as our purpose is really to focus on the very poor and help them out of poverty," explained Fokassa, the MFI's manager.

The MFI is concentrating a lot on its very poor customers and has actually put in place a mechanism to identify and monitor the situation of the very poor. "We want our customers to move from the very poor to the poor and the not so poor categories, and we are watching their situation," explained Fokasa.

Currently 64 percent of its clients are very poor and poor, which means that they live respectively on less than $1 a day and between $1 and $2 a day.  "The national figure is much higher, so our results are very good compared to the national statistics," said Fokasa. According to his figures, the number of very poor clients decreased by 32% while the not so poor increased by 26%, showing a shift in their social position.

In light of its success, Busaa Gonofa's strategic plan is to grow further to provide more poor people with the kind of products it has on offer, however it will need support from donors as the MFI hasn't yet been able to mobilize savings. "This is an area we are currently working on and training staff," said Fokasa, "we are also looking at micro-insurance products such as index-based insurance for crops for small farmers."

A number of new products will be piloted in Ethiopia through the RUFIP II programme which has just started. In its second phase, RUFIP will build on lessons and experiences of the first phase of the programme, which enabled more than three million poor rural households to access financial services. The new national programme aims to scale up delivery of financial services to reach almost seven million households by 2019. Busaa Gonofa is in the process of being granted a loan through RUFIP II, and is very keen to develop innovative financial products for its customers.

For more information:

Robson Mutandi, IFAD Country Director, Ethiopia
r.mutandi@ifad.org

Belayhun Hailu, Knowledge Management Officer, IFAD
b.mamo@ifad.org

Rural Financial Intermediation Programme – Phase II
http://operations.ifad.org/web/ifad/operations/country/home/tags/ethiopia

IFAD's strategy in Ethiopia
http://operations.ifad.org/web/ifad/operations/country/home/tags/ethiopia


Upcoming and recent events

Kenya

The Regional Director, Périn Saint Ange, visited the Kenya Country Office in Nairobi in December 2012 to introduce the new Country Director and Head of the Nairobi Regional Office as of January 2013, Ms Nadine Gbossa, to the Government and other stakeholders of the IFAD Kenya Programme. The Regional Director was accompanied on his trip by the outgoing Country Director, Samuel Eremie, the IFAD HR Focal Point for Country Offices, Sarah Mirmotahari and ESA Consultant, Carlo Bravi, who also assisted to advance the discussion of the European Union funding partnership with IFAD in Kenya, as well as the regional Monitoring and Evaluation agenda.

ESA held a retreat for CPOs and CPAs in Nairobi from 4 to 5 February. On the 6th  of  February there was also a workshop held for the Regional Team which focused on effective implementation and results.

Uganda

The Royal Tropical Institute in the Netherlands visited  Uganda in January to work on seeds related issues, with a particular focus on the Vegetable Oil Development Project. The University of Wageningen and the  Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) are working on the assessment of IFAD’s projects, with specific attention to the seeds components/ Integrated Seed Sector Development principles.

The Uganda office is working on a document review for five countries (Nepal, Uganda, Sudan, Philippines and Niger) looking specifically at the design and implementation of the seeds components within projects, which will lead to a knowledge management document and later to technical notes. Two in-depth studies will be conducted at country level for Uganda and Nepal.

Mauritius and Seychelles

IFAD’s President is visiting Mauritius and Seychelles from 6-11 March. He is being accompanied by ESA Regional Director, Périn Saint Ange.

Missions, people and workshops

Mr Francisco Pichon, previously in the LAC Division, joined the ESA Division in February 2013 as the new Portfolio Advisor and Country Programme Manager  for Rwanda.

Angola

Planned activities:

Burundi

Mr Hamed Haidara was officially nominated IFAD Representative and Country Director, Burundi, effective 26 June 2012 and he has been out-posted to Bujumbura since 17 December 2012. Mr. Eric Rwabidadi, who was previously in charge of South Sudan, took on the position of Associate Country Programme Manager in the IFAD Country Office, Burundi from 1 January 2013. The IFAD Country Office in Burundi is also in charge of the IFAD portfolio in Eritrea.

Kenya

The 2013-2018 COSOP Validation/wrap-up meeting and COSOP write-shop was held from  18 to 21 February 2013. It was attended by the following ESA Staff:

Lesotho

From 6 to 15 March a Project Performance Assessment (PPA) of SANReMP is being carried out by IOE.

Madagascar      

Malawi

Mozambique

The Mozambique One UN team won the Award of Excellence for working together in the field. President Kanayo F. Nwanze and World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin recognized the exemplary collaboration and partnership among IFAD, FAO and WFP, during IFAD’s Governing Council in Rome. A  celebration of the award with the Government and the UN Representative will take place in June.

Planned activities:

Rwanda

From 5 to 15 March 2013, a formulation mission is taking place for Rwanda COSOP, to cover two PBAS cycles (2013-2018). This mission will comprise the new CPM for Rwanda, Mr. Francisco Pichon and 2 FAO (TCIA) Staff.

During this mission, the new CPM will also be introduced to key government authorities and development partners.

Swaziland

An implementation support mission is being held from 4 to 25 March to LUSIP, LUSIP-GEF and RFED.

Uganda

Zambia