Sub-regional forum on loan, others underway
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
A five-day sub-regional forum on loan administration and financial management on Monday began at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.
The forum which brought together participants from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and The Gambia is organised by the West African Rural Foundation (WARF) in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The main objective of the forum is to support IFAD funded projects to improve their capacities to address implementation effectiveness and financial management for the achievement of result and impact.
The curriculum is based on a 'blended learning' pedagogy that includes lectures, case studies, role play, small groups exercise, guest speakers as well as other "hands on" activities designed to provide participants with practical experience with actual forms, reports and other materials.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Kekoi Kuyateh, the deputy permnent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, congratulated President Jammeh, the government and the people of The Gambia on IFAD's achievements especially in agriculture and natural resources management, micro finance, institutional strengthening and capacity buidling that immensely contributed to rural poverty reduction in West and Central Africa.
He noted that these achievements have been internationally acclaimed to have advanced the socio-economic development of the poor developing countries of IFAD member states. According to him, IFAD has financed about eight projects in The Gambia since 1982, investing a total of US$40 Million. He revealed that the nineth project, which is the livestock and horticultural development project is at an advanced stage of preparation for approval.
DPS Kuyateh further highlighted that all projects have had an agricultural focus and have pursued the overall goal of reducing poverty by improving household food security, especially among farmers and women. He observed that IFAD projects in The Gambia have become more demand-driven, increasingly developing rural poor people's participation in planning and implementation.
DPS Kuyateh also disclosed that the IFAD projects in The Gambia are focusing exclusively on the rural areas in the country, where poverty is widespread. DPS Kuyateh, on behalf of the government of The Gambia, reassured IFAD, RFP and PIWAMP stakeholders of The Gambia goverment's readiness to go extra mile in support of achieveing the goals and objectives of the RFP and PIWAMP.
"This would consist of IFAD's collective commitment to increasing food security and rural incomes for the socio-economic well-being of the Gambian people in accordance with the policy objectives of The Gambia incorporated in Vision 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture, the PRSP, the MDGs and the recently pronounced IFAD reformation agenda at the Douala IFAD implementation forum earlier this year," he concluded.
For her part, the executive director of WARF, Ndey Coumba Faal, said that WARF is an African international institution based in Dakar and created in 1993 after a three-year pilot phase supported by IDRC and the Ford Foundation (FF). " WARF is specialised on participatory methods for development, grant management and technical assistance through training and research," she revealed.
The WARF executive director noted that during the past 3 years, her institution has enjoyed continued IFAD cooperative partnership and support in numerous areas, covering the African sub-Saharan region. "Cooperation with IFAD has given us the opportunity and privilege to increase WARF's contribution and knowledge in poverty reduction," she concluded.
Author: by Mam Ndegene Secka