AfDB Places Emphasis on Agriculture Portfolio Quality

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The Bank’s agriculture portfolio task managers and coordinators from central and southern African Regional Member Countries (RMCs) converged on Tunis from 18-19 April 2011, for  a seminar on project management with emphasis on the quality of active portfolios under the auspices of the agriculture and agro-industry development division (OSAN.3).

According to the Acting Director of the agriculture and agro-industry department (OSAN), Abdirahman Beileh, the meeting also reviewed best practices and resolved recurring project management issues. “These interactions have immensely contributed to our understanding of best practices on portfolio performance and effectiveness of Bank investments on the ground,” he said.

Participants were happy that the seminar provided them with the occasion to build projects coordinators’ managerial capacity. “The workshop is useful and we trust that Project coordinators and Task managers have made the best out of the discussions… They also have a better understanding of various Bank business processes, rules and procedures,” Mr. Beileh said.

According to the participants, agricultural projects feasibility studies with detailed designs would ensure quality and timely implementation in line with the Bank’s focus on rural infrastructure. Other major issues discussed in the workshop included:

  • Delay in implementation startup due to inadequate preparations;
  • Weak capacity of project management units resulting in slow disbursements;
  • Shortage of counterpart funds;
  • Complexity of agriculture projects due to too many activities and dealing with the poorest of society; and
  • Weak capacity of local contractors engaged to carry out infrastructure development activities which are too small to attract international contractors.