Seventh Partnership Meeting on Rural Development in West & Central Africa

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The 7th partnership meeting on rural development in West and Central Africa took place from 30-31 October 2007 in Tunis. The meeting agenda consisted of three sessions covering the following topics:

  • Climate change and agriculture in West and Central Africa
  • Challenges to sustainable transboundary agricultural water management
  • Knowledge management and innovation systems for agricultural development

The meeting, which came on the heels of the May 2006 meeting organized by IFAD in Rome, brought together major development partners in the agriculture sector.

The main conclusions of the meeting are as follows:

  • while Africa contributes the least to climate change, it already suffers the greatest impact and the situation will worsen in the future: desertification, flooding, loss of agricultural productivity, food security threats, less water availability, increased disease incidence, rising sea levels and threats to coastal cities, impacts on fisheries, etc. These challenges require integrated responses at multiple levels…;
  • significant investments will be required to address transboundary water management within an integrated water resource management (IWRM) approach;
  • greater support for national irrigation plans and strategies needed;
  • strengthening producer organizations is an important element in the process of fostering greater innovation capacity: the innovation systems approach represents a more systemic view of agricultural development, that links farmer problem identification, market opportunities, research inputs, enabling policies and markets, etc.;
  • knowledge management is also seen as a critical element to improve the efficiency of development efforts, learning from experience, learning from and with farmers and other beneficiaries, and sharing of knowledge and lessons through networks.

With regard to the overall objectives of the donor partnership forum, participants expressed a strong consensus regarding the need to continually share information and seek ways to coordinate efforts around a shared development agenda. Further efforts to harmonize work are needed.

For further information one address:

Postal Address, Phone, Fax: Agriculture and Agro Industry Department (OSAN) , BP 323-1002 Tunis, Tunisia ; Tel: (216) 71 10 22 99; Fax: (216) 71 10 37 25