Impressions of the N2Africa Annual Planning Meeting and field trip in Rwanda 15-18 May 2018

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The former Country Coordinator for Rwanda, Speciose Kantengwa took the lead in organizing our last full team meeting in Rwanda, a country that differs from others within N2Africa by climate and geography. Country coordinators of both Tier 1 and Core Countries, Business Development Officers, members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, our donor representative, Research coordinators, Leadership team and support gathered, together with representatives from the NGO’s and institutions from Rwanda that took over working with the Knowledge after the end or Phase I.

The meeting started by looking back on the last year. Short presentations were made by the Core countries and poster presentations by the Tier 1 countries. The remaining time was focused on issues that need attention towards the end of the project. These were diffusion of knowledge, partnerships, technologies, agronomy and data, rhizobiology, M&E and planning beyond the project, for which 1.5 days were scheduled.

Samuel Adjei-Nsiah, presenting
progress in Ghana

Discussing the Mozambique poster

Practicing with maps and partner data

Vivid discussions: Silvia Silvestri (CABI/GALA),
Step Aston (One Acre Fund)
and Christian Witt (BMGF)

Theresa Ampadu-Boakye presenting
what we can learn from M&E to date

Day three we made a field trip to Musanze, which was reached over sometimes slippery roads though a mountainous area. Due to heavy rains we could not visit all locations that were planned, but the two we could visit, Gahunga and Muka action sites, gave great insights into the projects impacts.

At the Gahunga action site Ms. Gasilida
showed their varieties
(Photo credits Eva Thuijsman)

Showing the N2Africa team around
(Photo credits Ken Giller)

Really great height can be achieved

Also at the Muka action site
we received a warm welcome

Speciose Kantengwa translated

In the afternoon a seminar was planned in Musanze for which two speakers were invited, a former MSc student from N2Africa presenting work from his thesis and a former research assistant with N2Africa now working with RAB. Further Ken presented a video partly recorded in the Musanze region 10 years ago. Due to exams only few visitors from the university could attend.

Alfred Tabaro presenting his MSc thesis

Aimable Nsengiyumva presented on
N2Africa and it’s influence on
rhizobiology industry

Ken Giller in 2010 filmed on the location
visited today

The last day was for feedback and recommendations and working on plans for the remainder of time for N2Africa and beyond.

All in all we can say it was a meeting in very good spirit, with a strong eye for leaving a good N2Africa legacy behind. We closed happy on what has been achieved, with a focus on what still to do and of course a bit sad the end is coming close while there is still so much possible to anchor even deeper.

Charlotte Schilt, Wageningen University & Research