N2Africa planning meeting for Tier 1 countries in Nairobi

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On April 14 and 15, a meeting was held at the ICIPE campus in Nairobi to plan for N2Africa phase II activities in the so called tier 1 countries, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. The meeting was attended by the six country coordinators, senior business development officer Edward Baars, coordinator research and data Joost van Heerwaarden and the N2Africa leadership team represented by Ken Giller, Bernard Vanlauwe and Bashir Jama (AGRA). They were Joined by representatives of AGRA (Kiwia Abednego) and Export Trading Group (Wainaina Kung’u).

The main aim of the meeting was to prioritize activities stated in the phase II results framework for implementation by the tier 1 countries. Over the two days, the participants reached agreement on a number of issues and actions related to project strategy, dissemination activities, gender, legume technologies and rhizobiology and M&E.

Photo: Country coordinators left to right: Lloyd Phiphira, Regis Chikowo, Speciose Kantengwa, Wilson Leonardo, Paul Woomer, Jean Marie Sanginga. Photo taken during the Tier 1 country meeting. Further introduction in the article below.

On the evening of the first day the participants had a chance to socialize while indulging in a selection of exotic and not so exotic meats at a Brazilian steak-house. Neither the traffic, nor the occurrence of an unexpected pedestrian police chase on the highway could prevent this from being a success.

The second day saw two interesting presentations by Richard Jones (AGRA) on the Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership (SSTP), an initiative from AGRA and USAID to accelerate access of smallholder farmers to technology, and by Anne Marie D’Olier, series manager with the popular agricultural reality-TV show, Shamba Shape-Up. Both generated useful and lively discussion on the potential for collaboration and the use of television for disseminating the use of legume technologies. The last day ended with an open discussion to solve the issues raised the previous day. All in all, the meeting was a success, providing the basis for successful activities in phase II as well as an opportunity for several new project members to get to know each other.

Joost van Heerwaarden

Short version was published on N2Africa Facebook on April 18th